Guide on Access to Daystar University Library Resources (online, print, and audio-visual)

Also see: Guide to Daystar University KOHA Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC)


Daystar University Library uses KOHA Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC).An OPAC allows one to search the library's collection from any computer connected to the internet.

This guide will help you understand how you can:

  1. Access the library OPAC
  2. Perform either a simple or advanced search
  3. Interpret the results pages
  4. Create your own item lists
  5. Place hold / Reserve a document
  6. Access your personal account
  7. Access other library resources


1. Access to the Library OPAC

This Online Public Access Catalogue is accessible using The catalogue can be accessed on and off campus with internet access.


2. Searching the Catalogue

There are two options of searching provided:

  • Basic search
  • Advanced search

a. How to perform a Basic Search

A basic search box is what you see (in the top bar) once open the library catalogue. To do a Simple Search, enter a word or multiple words in the search box. The Simple Search is a keyword search; the catalogue will retrieve results that include the search term(s) at any field in the record.

When you search with one word, the term will appear in each of the results. For instance, if you want to find material about communication, your search will be as follows:


When you search with more than one word, all the terms will appear in each of the results. If you want to find material about communication ethics, your search will be as follows:


Basic Searching Enhanced

Apart from the option to search using regular keyword, the Basic Search also offers options for searching by Title, Author, Subject, etc. On selecting and searching in a field the system will search the term only in the selected field.

Selecting one of the fields helps you narrow down the search results.

Searching ‘Business Information Systems’ as the Subject, the search would be as follows:

If you were to search for Business Information Systems as the Title, the search would be as shown below:

b. How to perform an Advanced Search

For a more complicated/targeted search you may select the Advanced Search option.

The Advanced Search page offers many ways to limit the results of your search. You can limit them by using the drop down menus and a combination of the Boolean operators (AND, OR, and NOT).

  • AND is used to narrow the results to only those records that contain both search terms: e.g. (cloning AND humans AND ethics) will only produce results of items that relate to the three terms. Aims at being specific.
  • OR is used to expand the search using like-terms: e. g (cloning OR genetics OR reproduction) will produce results for each of the three terms.
  • NOT is used to exclude an element from the search set: e.g. (cloning NOT sheep) will produce results relating to “cloning” but exclude those items on “cloning” that relate to “sheep”

For the most precise search, you can combine multiple sets of search terms using Boolean operators: e.g. (children OR boys OR girls)AND (television OR TV).

For example, if you are searching for the effects of malnutrition on child development, the search could be formulated as in the picture below:


By this strategy, you have searched for the topic malnutrition in the Subject Field only and for the topic Child Development, which may appear anywhere in the record.


Additional Fields/Limits

The Advanced Search page also shows the multiple kinds of limits that can be applied to your search results:

  1. Item Type You may limit your search to the Item Type. Below are shown all the different formats that the libraries possess.

  3. Date Range For date ranges, you will type the year range (1999-2001), or you could also use "-1987" for everything published in and before 1987 or "2008-" for everything published in 2008 and after.
  4. Language, the Location, and the sorting features Other useful limiters that can be found on the Advanced Search page are the Language, the Location, and the sorting features.

For the location you may select the results to display the holdings of either or both of the libraries. The default Sort by Relevance is very useful for general keyword and Subject searches. However, if you are searching by Title and you prefer the results in alphabetical order, you may select as shown below:


3. Understanding the search results

a. Results overview

The number of results found for your search will appear above the results.

b. Sorting Results

If not previously selected, the results will be sorted by default by Relevance. You can choose to sort by Author, by Title, by Call Number, by Dates, or by Popularity.


c. Item Availability

You will see the availability of the items attached to the record and also the library that holds the copy/copies.

If the item is checked out it will also be indicated on the search results page.


d. Filters

You may filter your results by selecting from the links that appear at the Refine Your Search menu on the left of your screen. The options include Authors, Topics (Subjects), Series, Libraries, etc.


e. How to read an Item Record

When you click on a title from the search results, you will see the bibliographic detail of the record. Details of the bibliographical details appears at the selected record are shown below.


f. Holdings Information

The holdings data comprises the Item Type (e.g. Textbook Loan, Audio-Visual, Electronic Books, etc.), the Location (i.e. the library where the book can be found, as well as the specific area within the library in this case: Nairobi, Athi River, Law); the Call Number (where exactly the book is shelved); its Status (Checked In or Out); and the Due Date (when the book should be returned).


g. User Actions

To the right of the bibliographic record you can find links to Print the record, or Add it to your Cart.


4. Lists & Cart

The library catalog system provides two ways to keep track of your searches and wish list for resources: carts and lists.

a. Cart

A cart is a temporary holding place for records you are interested in during a search session. In order to add items to your cart, you can do it either from the results list or the page of an individual record, as shown in the previous section. At the results, you can either click at the Add to your cart option from the bottom of each item, or select the item by clicking on the check box, and then click at the Add to: Cart at the top of the results.



NOTE: Once you log out or close the browser, you lose the items in your cart.

b. Lists

If you want a more permanent location for saving items, use the List feature. You need to be logged in to your personal account. For creating or adding to a list you follow the steps for adding items to the Cart, and you click the Add to a list after having selected the desired items.


5. How to Place Hold / Reserve Document

You can Reserve One copy of book on your name, if the document is already issued and no copies are available in Library. You must be logged into your account in order to be able to reserve items. Click on Place Hold Button to reserve the Document.


Once you click on place hold the following window will come up:


6. How to use My Account

You can log into your account and access your personal information from any computer, on or off campus. For you to log in, you need a User Name and Password. By default, your User Name is your student admission number, e.g. 17-2000, and your Password is: koha2017. The screenshot below shows the login page.



a. Your Summary

Once logged in, you can see your account summary; how many items are borrowed; when they are due (overdue items are highlighted in red). If you want to see only the overdue items, you may click at the Overdue tab next to the Checked Out tab.


Renewal of books

To renew books in your account, select the books you wish to renew then click on renew selected books. If you want to renew all the books in your account, click on renew all.

b. Your Fines

Current Fines

If a Fines tab appears next to the Checked out tab in My Summary, the amount presented is the current fine, which you owe to the library

Fines History

You can check the history of your Fines at My Fines tab.

C. Your personal details

Your personal details tab allows you to suggest changes to the personal information held in the library system about you.


d. Change your password

This tab allows you to change your password from the default password provided for first time log in.


e. Your Search History

You can access your search history via the My Search History tab. Clicking on any of the search phrases will re-run the same search. You may delete your search history at any time by clicking on the Delete your search history link.


f. Your Reading History

The My Reading History tab reveals your entire check out history. It could be useful especially when looking for details of item(s) you may wish to borrow again.


g. Your purchase suggestions

This tab allows you to suggest to the library information materials you would like acquired. Click on new purchase suggestion to enter the details of the items you would like the library to acquire.

h. Your Messaging

This tab allows you to make changes to your messaging settings. This determines how often one gets notifications from the library.


i. Your Lists

From this tab you can manage your lists. You may create both private and public lists. Editing includes renaming, as well as addition or deletion of items. You may also delete the entire list.


j. Ask for Discharge

This tab is used when you want to be cleared from the library. Once the application is made, one cannot borrow library materials.


k. How to Logout

To log out from your account, click on the log out option as shown below.


7. Access other library resources

The Library OPAC also has links to other relevant library resources such as the institutional repository, E-resources, and the Library home page.

Also see: Guide to Daystar University KOHA Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC)


For further enquiries; you can contact the library on:
Facebook: Daystar university libraries

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