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OSU Libraries

OSU Libraries' How To Guide

This is a guide intended to help anyone start their library research.

Books using the Library Catalog

Find books at OSU Libraries in a few easy steps. 

  1. Enter your topic in the 1Search search box in the top right corner of the screen
  2. To narrow your search to only OSU Libraries, choose the At OSU Libraries only scope to search all of the OSU Libraries collections. This includes Guin, Vet Med, and OSU Cascades.
  3. Use the facets on the left-hand side of the page to choose "book" as the content type you want to see. 
  4. Write down the call number so you can go get the book off the shelf.
  5. Check out the book at the circulation desk using your OSU ID

Click on the Availability & Request options tab to see the location and status of the book.

Using Keywords to Find Books

The best way to start searching for books on a topic is a basic keyword search.  There are some specific things to keep in mind when you are using keywords to find books:

  1. Most of the time, the computer won't be looking for your keywords in the full text of the book - it will just find matches where your keywords are in the title, in the subject headings the library has assigned, or maybe in a short description or in the table of contents.
  2. In academic research, you might only be interested in one part of an author's analysis -- the part that intersects with the argument you are developing. 
  3. To find useful information in books, therefore, it is essential that you identify keywords that reflect the broader context for your topic
  4. Online repositories like those mentioned in the e-books module on this page allow you to keyword search whole books - you might start a search there, and then come back to see if the books you want are available from OSU Libraries.

    Locating a book on the shelf

    To find a book on the shelf in the library, you need 3 pieces of information from the 1Search record:

    • The location (to get it today, it should say Valley).
    • The status (to get it today, it should say Available).
    • The call number.

    Use the Call Number Location Guide to see where the call number is located.

    Finding a specific book

    To track down a copy of a specific book:

    • Identify an access point to search by (usually the title, author or ISBN)
    • Search for your title, author or ISBN in 1Search (At OSU Libraries scope).
    • you can also use the facets on the left side of the screen to refine to book or ebook.

    If we do not have the book here at OSU, change to the OSU Libraries + Summit scope from the drop-down menu .

    To borrow the book from another library, click on the Availability & Request Options tab and choose Request from Interlibrary Loan. You must be logged in to 1Search to see this option.

    Books from Other Northwest Libraries

    If you don't find the book you want in OSU Libraries' collections, don't give up! 

    You can easily search the catalogs of libraries around the region and place a request for the book you want.  If it's available, you should have it within the week.

    1. Start by entering the title or topic into the 1Search search box in the top right side of the library home page.

    2. You will be prompted to log in with your ONID. You will want to do this so that you can order the book from another library.

    3. If you have a very long list of results or don't see the book you want, try changing to the OSU Libraries + Summit scope from the drop down menu. This will narrow down your results list. You can also refine your search to just books using the facets on the left side of the screen.

    4. Click on the Availability & Request Options tab and choose Request from Interlibrary Loan.

    Books on the Web

    Project Gutenberg.  Project Gutenberg is a repository of more than 33,000 texts on a variety of subjects.  Most of the books are in the public domain because their copyright has expired; the number of current texts in this repository is relatively small.

    Google Books. Working in partnership with several libraries, Google has created a huge database of electronic books.  Your access to these books will vary: some are available in full, some provide substantial preview views, and some provide only snippet (sentence-length) views.  You can find the books in libraries, purchase them, or view the available portions online.

    WorldCat - a database of books and articles held by libraries around the United States and some international libraries. Search Worldcat to find out what's been published in your area and request the items through your public library's interlibrary loan service.