Books are valuable sources of information. They provide a broad view of a topic, as well as historical information. They can be very useful in helping you focus your topic. However, in most cases, they may not be as useful for the most current research on your topic.
Watch the video below to learn how to find a book using the library catalog.
Show me written instructions instead
Start your search using the Library Catalog.
Begin your search by typing one or more keywords into the search bar. It is helpful to use words such as "and", "or", and "not" to link keywords.
You can also use the dropdown menu to search for specific authors or book titles. This helps refine your search.
Browse the results of your search.
The library catalog will generate a list of all possible matches to your search. Scroll through the list and click on a title to learn more about that book.
Narrow your results down to specific books which are most meaningful to your research, and get the information you need to locate them in the library.
At the bottom of the page lies the call number of the book. Write this number down for future reference.
The page also lists the subjects the book is categorized under. Click one of these links to find books with similar subjects.
If you find a book and you're not sure where it's located within the Univeristy Libraries, use the Maps tool for help. Click on the floor plan thumbnail located about half-way down the page to bring up a larger map with the approximate shelving location highlighted.
Back to video tutorial
Conduct A Search
Now, using one or more of the search statements you developed in Part 1, do a keyword search for books on your topic.
Click the button below when you're ready. Write the complete information about one of the books on your exercise sheet. Indicate which floor of Mortensen or Allen (Music) the book would be on.
If you already have a University Library account, login to the system:
- Login: your 8-digit University ID number (on your ID card)
- Password: Last name, properly capitalized
If you have a problem logging in, try capitalizing all letters of your last name. It is strongly recommended that you change your password after the first time you log in.
The Call Number System
Books in the Mortensen and Allen Libraries are arranged using Library of Congress (LC) call numbers. LC call numbers use a combination of letters and numbers to place a book on the shelf within its subject.
To find books on the shelf using LC call numbers, you must find the first letter(s) which indicate a broad subject. They are arranged alphabetically. So, on the shelf you could see books with call numbers in this order:
Following the letters, the first group of numbers further narrows the subject. It is filed in numerical order within the letter group:
Notice that, for the last two books, the first group of numbers is the same. To put these books in order, the third element of the call number must be used. Treat these letter-number combinations like decimals and put them in order accordingly. It may help to imagine an extra zero at the end of the number; in this situation, placing a zero after the 7 makes it clearer that 66 comes before "70".
Now try the skills you've just learned. Imagine books on the shelf. Put the following "books" in correct call number order by numbering each "book" 1 through 5:
Now, indicate where this book would fit in the above sequence by indicating the two numbers (from above) it would go between:
PN 1022 G37 1984 would go betweenand.
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