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How to Search Using Library Resources: Using the Library Catalog

Reading Call Numbers

Knowing how to read a call number allows you to find books easier!

Since the library is organized by Dewey Decimal, all the books are arranged by Subject. Therefore, if you know the call number then you can identify the subject and locate it in the library.

The call number of a book provides more information than one might think, such as the book's location, subject, author, and title.

  • As shown in the above picture, the first set of numbers identifies the book's subject. According to the classification system, this book would be about Natural Science & Mathematics because 551.5 falls into the 500's category.
  • The second set of numbers, the L99 refers to the author's last name and the w refers to the first letter of the book's title.

Using the Library Catalog

To find a Book/Print Source, you must:

  • Go to the Library Catalog and enter the title, author, or other information in the "Keyword Search for" box.
    • Note: You can specify your search by changing the fields in the "Search by' box. Doing so will change what the system searches for (author, title, subject, etc)
  • Once you have entered your initial search, you may find that you have too many results. Now you must narrow down the results using filters.
    • Filters can be found on the left side of the screen as noted in red below.

  • Now that you have selected filters, the results should be narrowed down enough to find a book that best fits your needs.

Our Collection

 Collection Location Circulation Status
Academic Journals  Main Floor Non-Circulating
Reference Main Floor Non-Circulating
Fiction Second Floor


 Popular Fiction Main Floor


 Nonfiction Second Floor Circulating
 Audio/Visual Basement


(CofO/SofO Faculty, Staff and Students only)
 Juvenile Media Center (Basement) Circulating


Catalog Filters

When searching for a book, the catalog will often show hundreds of results. In order to find the best source, you can use filters to narrow down the search results. Filters are search criteria that must be met in order for a book to appear as a result.

Filters often include, but are not limited to:

  • Material Type (Books, Ebooks, DVDs, Maps, etc.)
  • Subjects (Political Science, History, Art, Health and Fitness, etc.)
  • Authors
  • Series
  • Date of Publication (1950, 2000, etc.)
  • Language
  • Literary Type (Fiction, Non-fiction, Essay, Novel, etc).
  • Number of pages