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This guide will show you how to find autobiographical and biographical information for writing autobiographical/biographical essays and memoirs.


The following e-book collections contain several biographies and autobiographies:

Credo Reference

Oxford Reference Online

Gale Virtual Reference Library

Where are Books Shelved?

Books with "Ref" before the call number are shelved in the Reference stacks on the first floor of Buley Library. Books that can be checked out are shelved on the second and third floors. Here's a floorplan indicating where materials are located.


Scanners are available on the first and ground floors. Users can scan to their email or their flash drive for free. You cannot print from the scanners. There are 3 printers on the main floor that allow you to scan, copy and print. One is located in the front lobby; one is located at the IT Help desk and the third is near the reference stacks. Printing  is 5 cents for single side black and white and 8 cents for double-side. Color printing is 25 cents for single side and 40 cents for double side.

Hoot Loot card holders can add to their account from the Card Value Center in Buley Library which is located opposite the Check-out counter on the main floor.

Checking Out Books

Circulating books are checked out at the Check-out Counter on the main floor with a valid SCSU ID. Books can be checked out for 28 days with the option to have them renewed if no one else has requested them. Reference books cannot be checked out.


Use SouthernSearch to locate information in our library. SouthernSearch provides simple, one-stop searching for books and e-books, videos, articles, digital media, and more.

Enter your search terms in the search box provided and click on Search. The default is to search "Everything at SCSU." You can click on the down arrow next to "Everything at SCSU" for other choices such as SCSU Catalog and Collections, Articles and e-books, Course Reserves, and CT State Colleges and Universities.

When searching by keyword use "and" to combine your search terms for more precise results.

 Example: Martin Luther King and biography

                              Edward Kennedy and memoir

                              Gandhi and autobiography

You can combine search terms to make your search more effective.

              Example: Oprah Winfrey and (biography or autobiography or memoir)

Using "or" between search terms helps to expand your search. "Or" is generally used with synonyms. In this example we are actually conducting 3 different searches in one step by enclosing our synonymous terms within parentheses. Below are the three different searches that are being conducted simultaneoulsy in this search query:

                             Oprah Winfrey and biography

                             Oprah Winfrey and autobiography

                             Oprah Winfrey and memoir

To locate an autobiography select Author search in the library catalog and type the person’s last name followed by the first name to see if we have anything the person has written.

               Example: Angelou, Maya


Use Advanced Search for more search options to limit or focus your search.

Advanced Search

For the most part, basic searches will retrieve the results you need. Use Advanced Search for more search options to limit or focus your search. Advanced Search presents limiters and expanders to help refine your search. The advanced search option, for instance, allows you to combine multiple search terms with "and" or "or" for more effective searches.
Example: Facebook and (privacy or security or identity theft)

The advanced search option allows you to limit your search by date, by format, and by language.

Requesting books from another library

To request a book from another library in the CSCU consortium, you must search the CSCU consortium by selecting "CT State Colleges and Universities" from the pull-down menu in the search box as the default is to search "Everything at SCSU". Enter your search terms and execute your search. Once the results list appears, you need to sign in to your library account to see which library has the book. You will see the name of the library that has the book and "available" if the book is available to be loaned. Click on "available" and you will see more information about the book and option to "request" the book. Click on "Request". Check to see that the pick-up institution is  Southern Connecticut State University and the library is Hilton C. Library. Click on request to complete the transaction. You will be notified by email when the book is here and you can pick up your book at the Check-out Desk.

For additional help requesting a book from another CSCU library, please watch this video: