How To Find Books

Use the Catalog to find books and periodical titles owned by the College’s Library, as well as items on reserve.

Common Search Methods


  • Use the keyword search if you aren’t sure of the book title. The keyword search looks for words anywhere in a record. Use important words or phrases.
  • Do not use common words such as a, an, if, it, of, the, with, etc.
  • Use the * symbol to search for plural and alternative forms of a word, or if you’re unsure of the word’s spelling. For example: searching for “crim*” will retrieve crime, criminal, crimes.


  • Use the title search to find books by title. Only use this search when you are sure of the title.
  • It is not necessary to include a, an, and the when they appear at the beginning of a title.

Publication Title

  • Use the publication title search to find periodicals (journals, newspapers, or magazines) by title.


  • Use the author search to find books by author. An author can be a person, corporation or organization.
  • When searching for a personal author, enter the name of the person.
  • When looking for a corporation or organization, enter the name in the order that it usually appears.

Subject Terms

Use the subject terms searchto find books on a particular subject. The College Library uses the Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH). The subject headings also suggest broader and narrower subject headings that you can use.

Call Number

Use this search if you know the call number of a book and want to know where it is located in the Library, or to supply parts of the citation. For example: missing author or publisher. Our Library uses the Dewey Decimal System.

Other Ways to Search

Advanced Search

Use the advanced search option to narrow your search results by library location, material type or publisher. You can also use advanced search to search in multiple fields.

For example: the author and subject, or the title and notes fields

Periodical Search

Use the periodical search to find periodicals (journals, newspapers or magazines) by title.

Course Reserves

Use this search to retrieve materials by course name or by the name of the professor.


Use this search if you know a publication’s standard number and want to find out whether our Library owns it.

How Books Are Arranged On the Shelves

Books are arranged using the Dewey Decimal System, which groups books by subject into 10 classes:

000-099               General Works (including Reference, encyclopedias, almanacs)

100-199               Philosophy, Psychology

200-299               Religion, Mythology

300-399               Social Science

400-499               Language

500-599               Pure Science (including mathematics, biology, chemistry)

600-699               Technology (including medicine, nursing, engineering)

700-799               Arts (including painting, music, photography)

800-899               Literature (including poetry, plays, essays)

900-999               Geography and History

Book Locations by Section

Section Location in the main campus Library Circulates (can be checked out)?
Atlas On the right; located at the end of Reference No
ESL On the right; past the New Books display Yes
Folios Back wall Yes
Main Stacks In the middle section; books with call numbers from 001 – 900s are located here Yes
Reference On the right; past the ESL section No