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Research 101

Print Books

Search our online catalog

Our online library catalog holds every physical item that we have in the library. This includes periodicals and DVDs in addition to books. Enter the information you have in the search box with the appropriate restriction (title, author, ISBN, etc.) Once you have found the book you want, record its call number. Call numbers are a series of letters and numbers read from left to right. Locate the book in the Quiet Area Stacks using the handouts at the circulation desk or the posters on the ends of each shelf  that tell you where you can find your call number.


Search with effective keywords

Start with a simple search using keywords relevant to your topic. For example, if you're writing a paper on race relations during the American civil war, you might use "race" AND "civil war." Often you have to try out different keywords before you get the right results. Brainstorm a lot of potential search terms by using synonyms and thinking about different ways to frame your topic.

A good strategy is to start broad and use fewer keywords, then narrow your search and add on more keywords as you have a better idea of what is out there on your topic.

Search WorldCat if you cannot find your book in the online catalog

Sometimes you will need a book that you cannot find in in the online catalog, meaning that we do not own the book in our library. You can search for the book in WorldCat, a catalog that holds items from libraries all over the world, and request the book to be sent here through Interlibrary Loan.

Electronic Books

Search our ebook collection

You can search our electronic book database separately, but ebooks will also show up in your results list if you perform a Cyclone Search and limit "Source Type" on the left-hand side to "Ebooks." 

Ebooks are titles available in a digital format that can be read directly from a computer screen or downloaded onto a device. While many ebooks are digital versions of print books, many are published without a print equivalent. Electronic books will most likely be convenient and conducive to your study needs and habits.

Textbook Policy

Generally, Taylor Memorial Library does not buy textbooks.

We may still have your course materials in our collection, however. Search our online catalog to see what might be in the Quiet Area Stacks. While we don’t usually have traditional textbooks, we likely have required readings for your class like novels or scholarly books.

Be mindful, however, of restrictions on borrowing length and the potential needs of other classmates.  


Check the course reserves for your class


Sometimes professors put a copy of the course textbook on reserve behind our circulation desk. Ask your professor or stop by the library to see if the book you are looking for is on reserve. These items can only be used inside the library and cannot be checked out.