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Research Toolkit: Find a Book

Tools, techniques, and resources to help you find the information you need.

 Related Guides: Find and Borrow a Book From Another Library


Watch - Finding Books

If you want to find books, the library's online catalog is the place to look. To search the catalog, begin on the library's home page at and click on the "Catalog" link. This will open the search page for the catalog. By using the drop-down menu to the right of the search box you can specify whether you want to search by keyword, subject, author, or title. In most cases, unless you know the title of what you are looking for, a keyword search is the best option. Let's say you are looking for books about Jimi Hendrix. You can type Jimi Hendrix into the search box and click the search button. This will bring you to a list of related books. From the search results list you can click on the title of any book to view more information about it on the item details page. This page will give you information such as a book's call number, availability, and location. The call number is a unique alphanumeric combination that will help you find the book on the shelf. It works kind of like an address. The location will tell you what section of the library the book is in. The primary book locations in the library are children's, reference, oversize, and general, with most books belonging to the general collection. The item information section will tell you about the book’s availability. Here we can see that there is one copy of this book available and it's in the general collection. Every item details page will have a link labeled "A Look Inside." If you click on this link you can view more information about the book such as the summary and reviews, and sometimes a table of contents. f you need help searching the catalog or finding a book in the library, don't hesitate to ask a library staff member for assistance. We are always happy to help and can be reached both in person and online.

Practice - Interactive Tutorial


Practice searching for books using the Bailey Library catalog tutorial.

Finding Books in the Catalog

You can search for books by keyword, title, author, or subject using the Bailey Library catalog.

Enter a title, author or keyword into the search box. Optional: Select word or phrase, subject, author, or title from the drop down menu to specify what you're looking for. Click the search button to run the search. If any books come up in the search, they will appear as a list of results.

There are two types of books in the catalog: print books and eBooks. Print books will have a call number underneath the title and eBooks are labeled E-BOOK underneath the title. Keep this in mind if you have a preference for one or the other.


Accessing Books

For physical items (print books/DVDs)

Click on the title of the book to view the following details:

  • Availability - tells you whether the book is available, checked-out or lost.
  • Call Number - tells you the shelf location of the book.
  • Location - tells you what collection the book can be found in. There are 4 main collections in Bailey Library:
    • General
    • Reference
    • Oversize
    • Children's

If the book is available, make note of the location and call number. All books are organized according to call number from A to Z). If you need assistance finding books on the shelf, ask a library staff member. We're happy to help!

For electronic items (eBooks or online videos)

Click the title of the book to view more details about it. 

Click the "View Resource Online" link to access a digital version of the book.