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 terms” and 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.