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Dickinson: Finding Books

Why use books?

In today's online world, do books still have a part to play? Absolutely!

Books can provide you with reliable information you can count on and include in your works cited/reference page. They often provide:

  • Background information
  • In-depth coverage of topic
  • Chapters that can break a topic down into smaller, more easily understood pieces
  • Pointers to more information on the same topic.

Just remember that books take much longer to write and become published, so if you are researching very recent issues or topics, journal articles may be more useful.


Interlibrary Loan

Using the Library Catalog

Search Tips

  • combine keywords using AND or OR for more precise results
  • use "quotation marks" to search for phrases
  • to search by title, start your search with ti:
  • to search by author, start your search with au:last name, first name
  • to search by ISBN, start your search with isbn:
  • use Advanced Search to combine search categories, as well as limit by date, format, etc.
  • to search other libraries, select Libraries Worldwide from the drop-down box for location

Call Numbers

The Madigan Library uses the Library of Congress classification system. Similar to the Dewey Decimal system, which most public and school libraries use, the books are organized by subject, but the Library of Congress system uses shorter combinations of letters and numbers to signify broad and specific subject areas, author names, and publication dates. An outline of the LC system, provided at the link below, may help you to browse the library shelves for your topic, and contains links to subject areas for more specific detail.

Don't forget, if you ever have trouble locating a physical item in the library, just take the call number to the main circulation desk and the friendly staff there will help you!