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Catalog woes

It's another bad day for me to be using the card catalog. This time they're running a large batch process which is reprocessing headings. As a result, I can see the title of the book I'm after in a list, but can't get to the actual entry on said book, i.e. the sort of information which would give me its call number. Happily, the librarian's suggestion that I look the book up in another university's catalog and try the same call number in this system worked - but only because I knew in advance that the book existed, and at this particular part of the system. I can't count on such luck for other books today