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ENGL 114/ENGL 115 A Research Guide: Find Books

The Library Catalog

The library catalog contains books, e-books, journals, newspapers, magazines, manuscripts, audio-visual material, scores, maps, government documents, databases, and more!

Use either of these options to find books:

Keep in mind that journal articles are not in the library catalog! 

Articles and book chapters will NOT appear in the library catalog. A good way to remember the difference is that the library catalogs contain whole items that can sit on a shelf (or... a virtual shelf in the case of ebooks). To find articles, see the next page (Find Journal Articles).

Search Techniques For Books

Linked subjects in the catalog are like #hashtags

Catalog records for books include linked subjects, and linked subjects work similar to #hashtags in social media. Therefore, if you have at least ONE book that will be relevant to your research, look it up by title in the library catalog.

When you find the book, find the section labeled "Subjects" and click on a linked subject to browse the other books available on that same subject.

screenshot of the hyperlinked subjects found within Orbis and Books+ in Quicksearch

 

 

 

 

 

Try doing a "subject browse" in Orbis

Orbis (the traditional library catalog) is a good resource to help you identify linked subjects on your topic. Orbis will give you advice on how to make your search terms more specific or more general, depending on the keywords you enter.

For example: Using Orbis, search for "Art" using the Subject Browse drop-down -- make note of the advice Orbis displays on the next screen.

Screenshot from Orbis showing "art" as the search term using the Subject Browse drop-down

Call Numbers

A call number is like an address: it tells you where a book is located in the library.

An image of book spines displaying call numbers, i.e.: JC71 .P513 2012

1. Read the 1st row of a call number alphabetically (A, AB, C) and then as a whole number (1, 2, 34).

Use the stacks directory to navigate to the correct floor based on the 1st row letters then navigate to the correct aisle based on the letter and number.

2. When you are at the correct bookshelf, read the 2nd row letters alphabetically (A, AB, C) and read the numbers as a decimal (.01, .11, .9).

3. The third row can be the year of publication (1947, 2012) or an edition (v1, v2) and will be arranged chronologically.

If you need help or can't find your book, try the "Request recall or delivery" option in Orbis and Quicksearch -- we'll get the book for you!

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