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Research Process: 2a. Find Books

No matter what stage of the research process you're at--only beginning, stuck in the middle, or finishing up with citation polishing--this guide is a great resource for you.

How to Find Books

2a. Books may be in print or electronic (ebooks). Our library has approximately 87,000 titles in print and the same number in ebooks. For some, books may become the heart of a research project. For others, they will supply overviews, history or the detailed point of view of an expert.

There are a few items to remember when looking for books:

  • Because books take longer to write and publish, you may not locate recent titles on current events. 
  • Books may be checked out for 28 days. If no one is waiting for the item, you may renew it.
  • You may request books from other libraries using your ILLiad account. 

 

 

Search the Library Catalog

 

Tips for searching for books:

  • Use the library's catalog. It's located on the library's homepage, or use the search box above.
  • Use your general topic keywords. Getting into the detailed subtopic words at this point may not give you many results.
  • Your results list will contain numerous items other than books. Put a check mark in the left column area to limit your results to books or ebooks.
  • If you find an item you'd like, study the subject headings to see if the library owns more books on your topic.
  • Not finding much at Viterbo? On the left menu check "Libraries Worldwide." Request books with Interlibrary Loan.

 

Please watch this tutorial on using the library's catalog :

How to Read a Call Number

The materials in the Viterbo University Library are organized by the Library of Congress (LC) Classification System so that books/videos on similar subjects and time periods are shelved together. Each item is given a subject heading that corresponds to a call number which identifies the location of the item on a shelf. Call numbers consists of letters and numbers, and are arranged on the shelves in alphabetical and numerical order. For example, the call number for the book Leadership for Environmental Sustainability is HC 79 .E5 L43 2010. Here is how you would read this call number:

  • HC One or two letters represent a broad subject. These letters are not initials or an abbreviation for the subject. In this case, “GV” are the letters for "economic history and conditions."
  • 79 Numbers for a more specific subject within the broad category. In this case, a special condition, such as "environmental aspects."
  • .E5 The next line is referred to as the cutter number. Some, but not all, books have two cutters, the first of which breaks down the subject area even further. In this case the "E" refers to "environmentalism." 
  • L43 If the call number has a second cutter number, this represents the author or organizations’s name or the title of the work. In this case the title of the book begins with "L."
  • 2010 The date the book was published.

Items are arranged on the shelves from left to right, top to bottom within each section of shelving, according to call numbers. Call numbers are arranged in alphabetical order by class letters, and then numerically, as outlined below:

In general, call numbers are arranged first in alphabetical sequence...

AS AY B BF DC G GT PE RA T TX

...then in numerical sequence. Read the second line, or the first set of numbers, as a WHOLE number.

AS
23.6
AS
23.7
AS
123
AY
8
AY
12
AY
79

...then by a combination of alphabetical and decimal order on the third line. Subsequent lines with both letters and numbers are read alphabetically and then in decimal order; subsequent lines with only numbers are read as whole numbers. For example, correct call number order is shown below for a sampling of items:

LB
1075
C29
A342
2000
LB
1725
U55
A35
LB
1725
U6
B3
LB
1725
U63
1999
LB
1725.1
A5
2005
LB
1725.3
D5

CONTINUE...

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Reach us at the Viterbo Library by phone, email or chat.

Main Desk: 608-796-3269 | Reference Desk: 608-796-3270 | Reference Email: reference@viterbo.edu

Library Website: http://www.viterbo.edu/library