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Starting Your Research

Search In: Library Catalog

The Library Catalog is your portal to finding books, ebooks, DVDs, AV materials, and other resources. In essence, the catalog is a list of all the items contained within the library. Items are organized by author, title, subject, and publication information.

To search for books in the catalog, enter your search terms in the box below.

Library CatalogFind articles, books, AV materials, or online resources:

Catalog Search Tips

  1. Brainstorm potential search terms before you start your research. You're probably going to enter some search terms that don't retrieve the results you want. Having a bank of search terms will help you recover from these moments quickly!
  2. When brainstorming search terms, try to think of different ways to describe the same thing. This will help you cast as wide a net as possible.  
  3. Try to think of both broad and narrow search terms. 
  4. Use the search filters on the results page to narrow your results. You can narrow by publication date, subject, author and more.
  5. Try keyword searching and avoid phrase searching. Keyword searching is a more flexible way of searching. Just remember to keep it simple, start with entering just a word or two rather than entering an entire phrase or question. Here are the results for a keyword search for "mystery and detective stories."

Finding Books in the Stacks

Once you've found a book in the catalog that you would like to check out, you can use the book's call number to find it in the main stacks (located on the 3rd floor).  

Like most academic libraries, Bortz Library uses the Library of Congress (LOC) call number classification system to organize its materials. The LOC classification system organizes materials by subject and assigns call numbers to each item to indicate where to find it on the shelf. Each call number is made up of a unique series of letters and numbers and typically contains 3-5 lines. Call numbers should be read left-to-right, top-to-bottom. Sample call number:

BF      Line 1: defines the general subjects (B=religion, BF=Psychology)

1078   Line 2: defines a narrow subtopic within the broader subject (1078=dreams)

.S5      Line 3: Cutter number corresponds to the author's name or the title of the work (.S5 = Ella Freeman Sharp)

1978   Line 4: year of publication (or possibly copyright date)

c. 1     Line 5: copy number (if a library has multiple copies of the same book) 

Library staff are always available help patrons find books!