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History: Find Books & Media

Search for Books in Other Libraries Using World Cat

Not finding what you need in the Long Library collection?

Try searching WorldCat and use the "Request Item Through Inter-library Loan" link to request an item from another institution.

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Checking Out Books

Please be sure to "check out" materials you want to borrow at the Main Circulation Desk, located on the 2nd Floor (Learning Commons Area) of Long Library.

Please have your student ID card. Lending periods vary, depending on the material. Be sure to ask when your items are due in order to avoid any late fines.

Getting Started

Start your search for books by using the Library Catalog. Go to and search all of our resources in the Discovery Service or click on Catalog to focus on books in our collection. 

Searching for Books in the Library Catalog (OPAC)

Narrow your search using subject headings

A keyword search is great when you're starting out, but to get a more specific set of books on your topic try using subject headings. Subject headings use a set vocabulary to group together books on the same topic. It's a more organized way to search. Starting out a new topic though, you probably won't know the subject heading terminology to use. A great trick is to do a keyword search, find books that meet your needs and look for the subject headings.

In the following example I started with a keyword search "pullman strike" and of my results list (44 items), I clicked on a promising title to get to this full-page description. The subject headings are the red hyperlinks near the end of the description:



Click on the hyperlinked subjects to get a new set of results, all with the same subject heading. Hint: Consider right-clicking on the hyperlink to open the subject heading results in a new tab or window so that you don't lose track of your initial search results.

Locating Books

How Do I Locate The Book Once I Have Found It In The Catalog?

Look for three key pieces of information in the record for locating it in the library:  Location, Call Number, and Status:

The "Location" will tell you where the item is. For example, you may see "Archives" or ""Main Desk" as a location. "Long Library" means that the book you are looking for is located in the stacks in Long Library.

The "Call Number" is the book's location on a shelf in the stacks. P

The "Status" is important because it will let you know if this book is available to be "checked out."

Please ask a library staff member for assistance if you are having trouble finding an item. We are happy to help you find what you are looking for!

Find Course Reserves

Want to know if the library has required readings for your courses "ON RESERVE"?

You can also use the library catalog to search for course reserves. Click on the "Course Reserves" option shown below:

You can then search by instructor, department, course, and section. Once you select a search type, a list of materials will appear.

You can check these items out from the Circulation Desk for up to three hours. Just bring your student ID with you.