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How do I...?  

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions.
Last Updated: Sep 6, 2013 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Search PILOT Print Page

Use PILOT to find books and more

Search PILOT by entering your terms into the search boxes as shown below:


If your search was successful, you will see a list of records for available items. Here's a sample record which contains information on how to locate the item and find more like it:

Watch a short video

To view the Library of Classifcation Outline that explains the letters, click here or on the image above.

To view a L of C Classifcation game created by Carnegie Mellon click here.


You can do additional things from within PILOT, such as:

  • Place a ‘Request’:  you can request a book that is checked out be 'held' for you when it is returned
  • Text yourself a call number: send the book's call number to your cell phone via text messaging
  • View ‘Account Info’ and Renew Books: view a list of the books you have checked out and renew them before they are due      
  • Set ‘Search Limits’:  limit your search by date, location, language, format, etc. 

If you get unexpected or weird results:

  • Experiment with different search terms, search options, and search limits
  • Select the correct Boolean operator:

'Any of these' means OR
'All of these' means AND
'As a phrase' means the words must appear in that order

  • If no results, check your spelling (PILOT does not spell-check!)
  • If too many results, NARROW your search by
    • selecting more precise keywords
    • limiting to a specific field, like title or author
    • adding more keywords to your search
  • If too few results, BROADEN your search by
    • adding synonyms (for example, use 'teenager youth adolescent' -- first selecting 'ANY OF THESE')
    • picking broader terms (for example, use 'food' instead of 'carbohydrates')
    • selecting Keyword anywhere

More tips and tricks:

  • Play a game to learn how to read Library of Congress call numbers here.
  • Allow extra time if you use Interlibrary Loan or request a hold
  • Re-search means search more than once! Search for resources, then read/skim what you’ve found. Search again.
  • If you find a book you like, look for the book’s “subject termsand do a subject search with these terms
  • Never underestimate the value of a book!  You don't need to read the entire book, a chapter may do. Use the index or table of contents to find what you need
  • Ask your instructor and/or a librarian for help in doing research

For more help, contact a reference librarian

  • Stop by the Research Center desk on the 1st floor of Andruss Library, call 570-389-4204, or send an email request to Ask a BU Librarian using this page. You can also make an appointment for a individual consultation with the subject librarian for your class. Ask at the Research Center for more information.

Adapted from Ann Marshall, University of Rochester. 

Search the library's website:

Andruss Library | 570-389-4205 |
©Copyright Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania • 400 East Second Street, Bloomsburg PA 17815-1301 • 570.389.4000

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