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The library catalog is the tool to use when searching for books.

In the past, libraries had a card catalog to list their holdings, but that has been replaced in most libraries with an online system accessed from a computer.

Online catalog screen

The catalog still works the same way, though, for it contains a record for each book, journal, government document, and piece of media the library owns. So it is a finding aid for more than just books.

People use the catalog to answer such questions as:
- Does the library have a book by this title?
- Does the library have a book by this author?
- Does the library have books or other items on this topic?
- Does the library have a subscription to this journal?

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