From the library’s homepage, type an author’s name, a title, a subject, or keywords to find a book, DVD, or e-book (and more). The Library Catalog is the way to find anything that the library owns or has a license to use. You can use the Library Catalog from your home or dorm computer, too.
When you need complete information, an overview, or historical information. General information about many topics can be found in reference books: they're a good way to get started on an unfamiliar topic. Reference books can't be checked out of the library, so they're always here to "refer" to.
Books to check out are called "circulating" books. They will have much more detailed information on the topic you're doing research about. But what happens if it's 2:00 in the morning and you just remembered you need to find a book for your assignment? Madigan Library has almost 19,000 e-books that you can read anywhere you have Internet access, 24/7.
The librarians can help you find out how to get books from other libraries, too, using WorldCat to find them and ILLiad to borrow them.