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Research Guides

Getting Started on Research in the UI Library : Books

A general introduction to using the library's resources.

About Books

Why for finding broad, more comprehensive information on your topic
Where books can be found by searching our catalog and our e-books page. They can be print and electronic. Print books are on the fourth (A-G), third (H-S), and second (S-Z) floors in the library; e-books are online through our library catalog.
How begin with a broad search in the library catalog. Use key terms, boolean operators, and limiters to narrow your search

Getting Your Book

To find library items

Take a look at our library floor maps

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.


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.

Accessing Ebooks

Ebooks can be accessed through our library catalog. For more information about Ebooks, including how to download them, please visit our finding eBook guide.

Some ebook packages will require downloading Adobe Digital Editions (free computer download) or the Bluefire App (fire mobile phone app in the iTunes store or the Android Store). 

Search the Library Catalog

Tips for Searching the Library Catalog:

  • Choose the search scope 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.

Joe Vandal Finds A Book