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English 102 Library Instruction: Books

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.

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 Books and Ebooks at the UI Library

Joe Vandal Finds a Book

Library of CongressTutorial

Library floor maps

How do I Request a Book?

What is a Request?

Requesting a book is a simple way to get your library item(s), from on or off campus. To request materials that have been checked out by another patron, search for the item in our library catalog and click the Request button under the Find it tab. When a request is made, we notify the patron with the item and shorten the checkout time.  (This can be especially helpful since faculty members and graduate students have long checkout periods on books). To view your requests, visit your account page.     

How do I Request a Book?

  1. Locate your book by searching our library catalog.
  2. To view availability, click on Find it, and then Request (if the item is not available in our library). 
  3. Enter your user id and password.
  4. Verify that your request is complete and submit.
  5. You will be notified when your book has arrived.

How do I Use Interlibrary Loan?

What is Interlibrary Loan?

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is service that allows for the worldwide sharing of library materials.  This service is available for faculty, staff, and currently enrolled students.    

How do I Request a Library Item Using Interlibrary Loan?

  1. Locate the book you would like to request using the library catalog.
  2. If the book is not available, or checked, click on Find it, and then Request.
  3. Enter your user name and password.
  4. Verify book request to make sure all necessary fields are complete, and submit.
  5. A record of the request should appear on your account page.