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Research Guides

Engl102 Library Research Unit Guide for Students

Finding Books

What is Library of Congress (LC)?

Library of Congress is a classification system most commonly used by research and academic libraries (much like Dewey for public libraries).

What is a call number?

In Library of Congress classification, subjects are arranged by letter (P is Language and Literature), then by subcategory (PS is American Literature).  For a complete listing of subjects, visit the Library of Congress Classification Outline.  

How do I find my library item?

It can be helpful to think of a call number as the address for the material.  Each item has only one call number associated with it.  It is also helpful to know which floor your item will be located on.  So before hunting the stacks, take a look at our library maps or look at this list of the UI Library floor locations for selected LC classification letters.

You can watch a short video of Joe Vandal finding a book in the library.

Finding a Book using the Catalog

The Library Catalog is an online database of all the books, journals, encyclopedias, etc. that the Library has access to. If you want to find a book, the first place you go is the Library Catalog. To enter the Catalog, use the search bar on the Library Home Page or go directly to the Catalog

Search Tips:

  • Choose the search scope in the dropdown menu next to the search bar by selecting either UI + Summit + Articles (all materials); UI + Summit (items owned by UI and member libraries); or UI Library Only (items owned only by the UI Library).   
  • Limiting your search: Start with a basic search and once you find a book that seems to be about your topic, you can use the format and/or other options located on the left to further narrow your search.
  • On the Advanced Search page, the year, language, and location (to name a few options) of items can be limited.
  • Subject headings can be a great way to narrow in on your topic.