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Research Strategies 2: Finding Sources: Books

How do I search for books?

Watch the following videos for information on how to use our online catalog and OneSearch to find books in the library and then find those books on the actual shelves. 

How do I find books in the online catalog or OneSearch?

How do I find a book on the shelf?

Start from the Library Catalog Basic Search screen

Catalog Basic Search Box

Searching for a specific Item?

Select an Author or Title search if you know the author (last name, first name) or at least the first few words of the title.

Searching for Items by Topic?

There are two ways to search the online catalog for resources on a topic: by Keyword or by Subject.

  • A Basic Keyword search will simultaneously look for words in titles of materials, in subject headings, and in notes fields.
  • A Subject search will locate materials by Library of Congress Subject Headings, which is a controlled vocabulary or standard list of subject terms. The Oviatt Library assigns Library of Congress Subject Headings to all items listed in the online catalog

Once you found a book:

1. Check the Status field of the book's record in the catalog.

  • IN LIBRARY - book is available for checkout.
  • DUE + date - book has already been checked out.

2. The Location field shows the general location of the book.

  • Most books are on the 2nd and 3rd floors.
  • For other locations, check the location codes table.
  •  Select the Map It! feature to find out what stack it’s on.

3. The Call # field gives the book's call number, which serves as the book's address in the library. Each row of books on the 2nd and 3rd floors will have a sign at the end indicating which call numbers can be found on that row.

 

Placing Holds in the Library Catalog

  • You may place a hold on material that is currently checked out. Click the "Place a Hold" button.
  • When prompted, type in your CSUN User ID and Password. If you are not a CSUN student, faculty or staff member, type your name and 14-digit bar code from your valid CSUN photo ID in the area provided.
  • The library will hold the book at the Circulation Desk for 10 days following notification.
  • You may contact the Circulation staff at 818-677-2274 if you need additional support or information.

Requesting Stored Items

  • Materials with a Stored location code are held in the Automated Storage and Retrieval System(ASRS) and may be retrieved by clicking the "Request" button.
  • When prompted, enter your CSUN User ID and Password. If you are not a CSUN student, faculty or staff member, enter your name and 14-digit bar code from your valid CSUN photo ID in the area provided
  • ASRS retrievals may also be requested at the Guest Services desk.
  • Allow about 10 minutes for items to be retrieved from storage and delivered to a service desk.

Can't Find the Book You Need Here?

  • Ask the Library to get the book you need via Interlibrary loan.
  • Check worldcat.org to see if any libraries nearby have the book if you need it immediately.
  • Remember, as a CSUN student you have borrowing privileges from any of the other CSU libraries.