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Step-by-Step Guide & Research Rescue: Finding Books and Print Resources

This guide will help you understand how to efficiently and effectively do basic research.

Why Books?

Books can be a treasure vault of information that may not be available in any other resource, especially when looking at a historical treatment of a topic. Most scholarly books also provide extensive bibliographies, directing you to other books, articles, and various other types of sources that can be very useful to your research. The library provides several tools to make books more accessible to you as a student and researcher.

Books and More Search

On the front page of the Harold B. Lee Library website, you will find the Books and More Search tool. This tool searches through the Library Catalog and many other holdings connected to the Library (for a list of what collections and holdings are searched, click here). Searching within the Books and More tool is very similar to searching within databases, using key terms and concepts. This search engine is a good starting tool if you are searching to get an idea of what print and other types of resources might be out there on your topic. It will retrieve a variety of results such as books, videos, audio clips, and periodicals. You can then limit by resource type, Author/Creator, Call Number category listing, Creation Date, Subject, and other limiters. If you click on the title of the source you are interested in, you will be given additional information on how to access the full text. If you are looking for a specific source that you know the name of, utilize the Library Catalog for a more narrow set of results.

Library Catalog

The Library Catalog is a valuable resource if you are looking for a book or print resource.  Searching within the Library Catalog is similar to the database searches explained on the Finding Articles page.  If you know the title of a specific book or item, search using the Alphabetic Search option.  You can also search in the Keyword Search, using key terms or concepts to find more resources on a topic.  The "Subject" term heading utilizes the Library of Congress style subject headings for print sources.  When searching for an "Author", format the name using a "Last Name, First Name" style.

Once you have performed your search in the Catalog, you are given several options to further your research. On the left hand side of the page, you are given a list of limiters such as Subject categories that you can use to limit your results. Within the list of results, you can click on the titles of books or items if you want more information.

Within the listing of the individual items, you will see author information, a summary of the book or article, additional subject headings, and the call number if it is a print copy. By using the Floor Maps page, you can search the call number and be shown what floor and section of the library the item is located.

Another useful feature of the item listing are the "Find more on these topics" and "Nearby items on shelf" options. Because the Harold B. Lee Library uses the Library of Congress call number system, items on the shelves are filed according to subject. All of the "Nearby items on shelf" will be hard copy book or journals dealing with that specific topic, while "Find more on these topics" will bring up print copies as well as electronic resources.

If you have found a print copy of a book you are looking for, you can place a hold on the book. If the book is already checked out when you place a hold, it will not be able to be renewed by the patron who has it at the time, and you will be informed when it is returned.  If it is on the shelves, a library employee will go and retrieve that book from the shelves and keep it for you so that no one else can check it out. They will take the book to the Circulation desk on the third floor (where you normally check out books) and you will be able to pick it up there using your student ID card, usually the next day.

Other Print Sources

The Library has access to many databases that specialize in print resources such as newspapers or magazines that can be very useful to your research.

LexisNexis Academic -- News is a full-text database linking to national and international newspapers, magazines, newsletters, journals, and more.

Newspapers (ProQuest) provides full text coverage for more than 700 U.S. and international news sources including most of that world's major news publication sources.

Factiva is a news source that specializes in news surrounding the business world, with sources such as The Wall Street Journal and thousands of other national and international newspapers. Also accessible in Factiva are resources such as financial market data and company/industry information.

Accessing Books and Other Sources

For help and information on accessing the full text of your books and other sources, check out the Accessing and Storing Your Sources page.

Print Resources

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