A library catalogue lists a library's holdings of books, printed journals, reports, conference proceedings, and audio-visual materials. Use the University of Melbourne catalogue to search by author or title (if known), or by keyword for topics. You need to take note of the Location (the library, and the collection within the library), the call number (which is where to locate the item within a sequence) and the availability (whether on loan, missing or available for use/borrowing). Access the University of Melbourne catalogue.
The Bonus catalogue enables you to see if the item you need is held at another participating library (ie, where the University of Melbourne copy is unavailable, or there is no copy in our collection). Follow the prompts to request an item via Bonus.
Trove is an Australia-wide catalogue, that lists the holdings of University, public, government and specialist libraries. Some Trove resources are available on-line, while others are in hard-copy. If an item you need is held at a Victorian tertiary library, you may be able to borrow it using a CAVAL card (which is free to obtain - ask at the Loans desk).
Libraries Australia is a union catalogue which lists the holdings of most libraries in Australia (university; public; state; governmental; specialist, etc). If an item is held at another Victorian tertiary library, you may be able to borrow it using your CAVAL card. Also, it is possible for Victorian residents to join Victorian public libraries (free) and borrow from their collections. Staff and higher degree/honours students also have the option to request items from other Australian libraries via Inter-library Loan (ILL).
Many libraries use the Library of Congress (LC) subject heading system. The list of subject headings in the linked file (below) can be used in subject searches to find useful materials relating to public policy. Check also any variants listed under the main subject headings, including geographical regions (eg Administrative agencies - Australia - management; Policy sciences - moral and ethical aspects ).
Most catalogues will support keyword searching. Using keywords can be a useful way to find materials on topics of interest, and once you identify a relevant title in the list of results, the allocated subject heading links will lead you to similar materials. However, effective keyword searching requires some planning and the construction of search statements, linking search terms with Boolean operators. Some tips on keyword searching strategies can be found here.