Print Materials:
Library Catalog and Print Materrials
Library Catalog

In addition to reference and periodical literature, libraries offer publications in various formats on a huge number of subjects. Some of those formats are print, microform, audio-visual, graphic, etc.

All the materials that are physically present in the library are arranged by call number for easy location. To use those resources, you need to search the online library catalog first. It will show you four very important types of information about materials:

  1. what the library has on your subject of interest,
  2. a complete citation of each item (title, author, publisher, year of publication),
  3. a call number for each item (so that you can find it in the building),
  4. the availability for each item (i.e. whether it is currently checked out or not).

You can usually search the online library catalog by:

· title
· keyword
· author
· call number
· subject
· ISSN number

Print materials

Very often libraries will offer more publications on your subject of interest than you can possibly use. It is, therefore, crucial to select the most relevant materials without having to read all. You can do this in two steps:

Step 1:
As you look over the list of items on your topic in the online catalog, you can judge their relevance by the subject headings in the detailed description of each item. Titles do not always reflect everything a publication covers, so the subject headings can give you valuable clues.

After you select a number of relevant materials from the catalog, you will need to print out or write down their call numbers, take a stack guide, and locate the items in the building. It is a good idea to select more items than you intend to use.

Step 2:
As you find an item on the shelves, you can judge its relevance by looking at the contents and the index. You can choose one or two major keywords, look them up in the index, and skim the passages where they appear in the book. In this way, you will not have to check out books only to discover later that you have no use for the information they offer.