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Getting Started with Research at Shapiro Library

This guide discusses understanding information sources, formulating a topic and search phrase, where and how to search the library for information, how to evaluate sources, how to cite sources, and more.

Find Books & eBooks

 Online Library Catalog

The Online Library Catalog is a searchable list of all the print resources the library has (including print books, print journals, video games, audio books, and more). It also includes a number of electronic resources like streaming video and some of our ebooks. The Online Library Catalog also includes Your Library Account where you can see what materials you currently have checked out, renew or request a book or other material, etc. If you're looking for a list of all our ebook resources, check out the What if I Just Want eBooks? page.

Please keep in mind that the Online Library Catalog searches the library's print materials and many of the library's ebooks but NOT ALL OF THEM. Search our eBooks on EBSCOhost database to find an additional 140,000+ ebooks that are not searchable in the Online Library Catalog.

As with any resource, you may want to consider what the online library catalog is most useful for and anything you should be cautious about when using this resource:

Most Useful For:
  • Searching our entire print collection, including books, print journals and newspapers, DVDs and video games, etc. (alongside some electronic materials)
  • Finding book or ebook resources
  • Doesn't include scholarly articles
  • Doesn't include a record for ALL ebooks the library provides access to--users need to search individual databases from the A - Z Database List or What if I Just Want eBooks? page to find all ebooks available

Our Recommendation:

Consider using the Online Library Catalog primarily when you 1. Are looking for print materials 2. Are looking for books and ebooks 3. Want to utilize Your Library Account 4. Are interested in finding a variety of source types.

Still Need Help? Ask a Librarian!

How to Search for Books & eBooks Using the Online Library Catalog

1. Go to the Online Library Catalog by clicking on the link provided. Alternatively, you can use the search box on the Find Books & Ebooks page.

2. Locate the search box and using the dropdown provided, choose whether you would like to search for books and ebooks by keyword, author, title, etc.

The default choice is to search by keyword--this is usually a good choice if you have a topic in mind that you'd like to search for (e.g. books on Hinduism). Click here for more information on using a keyword search to find books on a topic.

Choose author or title if you have a specific book in mind and you know either the authors name or the title of the book (e.g. you are searching for the book "The Da Vinci Code").

3. Enter your search terms in the search box and click "Search" or "Submit".

4. Your search results should appear in a list in order of relevancy (e.i. the resources that are most relevant to your search terms will be listed at the top).

When viewing the results, notice the resource icons to the left of each entry. These icons will tell you what type of material you are looking at (e.g. books, ebooks, streaming video, etc.):

Books   eBooks   Games   Audio Books   Streaming Video

For each result, you should see title, author, and some publication information. Additionally, if the resource is a print material you should see a box with the location, call number and availability (status) of the material:

Sample Record

The location tells you where the material is physically located in the library. If you don't know what a location means, click on it for more detailed information. The call number is used to look up the book on the shelf. If you don't know how to look up a book by call number, check out this video or ask for help at the circulation desk. Finally, the status tells you if the material is available for check out, if it's only available to be used inside the library, when the material is due back (if someone else has it checked out), etc.

5. Once you've found a book or ebook you'd like to use you may choose to:

A. Write down the call number and if the status indicates it is available, go get it to use or take home. Print materials only.

B. "Request" it be placed on hold for you or sent to you (Online/Continuing Education only). Print materials only.

C. Open and read it by clicking on the title of the ebook, then selecting the link on the record which provides electronic access. Ebooks and other electronic materials only.

For example, click on this link in the ebook record to open the ebook and start reading:

Sample Detailed Record

Still Need Help? Ask a Librarian!

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