Skip to content
Text Tutorials

Using the USMAI Catalog

HOW TO USE CATALOG USMAI- University System of Maryland Online Catalog


Catalog USMAI is the University System of Maryland's online catalog. Use this tool on the World Wide Web to identify materials (books, electronic books, videotapes, and periodicals) owned by the USM libraries, including Langsdale Library and the Law Library.


If asked for a login, you may enter your 14 digit barcode and last name or select the guest login. You will need to use the barcode login for some features such as requesting a book from another library. Your initial screen on campus will be the catalog of the Langsdale library. If you wish to search another catalog, you may select the other catalogs option (other institutions or the entire system) at the top of your screen.


Basic Search:
The Basic search feature allows you to search by words anywhere, words in title, author or subject headings or to browse titles beginning with your words, authors beginning with your words, subjects beginning with your words or call number.

Tips for basic searches:

  • DO NOT use initial articles a, an, the, or their foreign equivalents.
  • You may use lower- or upper-case letters (case does not matter).
  • You may use the Boolean operators AND and OR in your search string. For
    example, you could type "(business or enterprise) and international" to retrieve all records having business or enterprise in them, together with the word international.
  • Use the ? character to find matches that contain portions of words. For example, gun? will retrieve gun, guns, gunners, gunnery, gunning, etc. It may be placed at the left, right or middle of a portion of a word, but it can never be used more than once in a text string.

Advanced Search:
This search feature includes a word search with multiple pull-down menus that make it easier to combine searches. Several of the following may easily be searched simultaneously: All Fields, Title, Author, Subject, Series, Notes, Thesis Institution/Place.
You may search for individual words or a phrase. Phrases will search for the words adjacent to each other. You may also browse for a title, author or subject beginning with your terms.

Other Limits in Advanced Search:

  • Format (limit to book, journal, video etc.)
  • Language (All languages, English, Spanish etc.)
  • Years (Limit dates of publication-ex: 1992-2002)

Tips for Advanced Search:

  • If you retrieve too many items on your first search, try narrowing the search with more limiters or with a more specific field (ex: subject vs. all fields.)
  • Use search as phrase whenever applicable to find more relevant records. If unsure of publication dates, leave that option blank.


You may choose to limit your search to journals only. This does not show journal
articles, but shows which journals and issues of journals libraries hold. You may use a basic or advanced search to find journals. Both searches are much the same as described above except that the basic search options start with a browse search on titles and include the option to browse or search for organization names. The advanced search also allows a search for organization, an option not available in the catalog search.


A list of records is displayed as the result of your search. These may be viewed in a variety of formats. The default format is set using the Options/Display function. No matter which option you set as the default, you will always be able to see the Full View of the record by clicking on an underlined record number or title. Various actions may be performed on a list of records, such as filtering, mailing or saving the list. While a list of records is displayed, there is a modify search button just to the upper right of the first record. Your search may be modified with the addition of new words or limited to a date range, new records or items that are not checked out.


To request materials from another USMAI library, you must first be logged on with your barcode.

  • From the search results screen select the title of the item you wish to request and go to the "Full View of Record" screen.
  • The full view record contains an "all locations" field (noted in BOLD along the left margin). This field contains the "Availability" link.
  • Click on the "Availability" link, which will take you to the "Holdings and availability for all libraries," which includes the "Request this Item" link.
  • Select the underlined "Request" link. On the request form choose your pickup location from the drop-down box. The "Not needed after" date defaults to two months from the date of the request. You may change this if necessary.
  • Select either "Send" to complete the request or "Cancel" to delete the request. You will immediately return to the "Full View of Record" screen for the item you requested.
  • If you wish to confirm your request, select the "my account" link at the top of page above the yellow bar; the "my account" screen includes a link to "Requests."
  • You may see your outstanding requests by clicking on the "Requests" link. You may delete a request by selecting the number of the request to be deleted.

    Howto_catalogUSMAI: 11/04 lh