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Hilton C. Buley Library


Library Tutorial: Finding Materials in the Library

How to do basic library tasks: searching the catalog, finding library materials, getting into the online resources

On this page

A map of each floor of the library showing where materials are shelved.

Finding Books
Using the library of Congress call number system to find books and other items in the library.

Finding Periodicals
Using the journal finder to find out if we have a periodical and where it is physically or digitally.

Finding a book on the shelf

Buley Library has several Collections of books, such as Reference, Stacks (general circulating collection), Juvenile, Oversize, Curriculum, Media, Thesis, Special Collections, and Microforms. Each collection is in a separate section in the library.

Most of the collections use the Library of Congress (LC) Call Number system, consisting of a combination of letters and numbers.

Let's assume you search the catalog for Shakespeare's sonnets and retrieve the following title. How will you find this book on the shelf? This video will show you how.

  1. Each starting letter stands for a subject area. P is language and literature, Q is science, etc. 
  2. If there is a second letter, it stands for a subdivision of the subject. PR is British literature. 
  3. Numbers further subdivide the topic. PR2848 is Shakespeare's works. 
  4. Letters and numbers after the period further subdivide the topic and identify an individual book within the category.

Finding Periodicals

Most of our journals, magazines, and newspapers, all known as Periodicals, are now online. Some are still in print format, and some are on microform. Use the journal finder to search for a periodical, to see if we have it, what format it's in, and what years we have. The  physical formats, print Bound Journals, print Current Issues, and Microforms (microfilm=reels, microfiche=sheets) are all held on the Lower Level of the Library.