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OSU Libraries' How To Guide

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

Where can I get more help?

Contact the OSU Libraries Information Desk

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, or enter the title of book. Use quotes around the title for the best results.
  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 Bend. Click request to have these books sent to the Valley Library.
  3. Use the facets on the right-hand side of the page to choose "print books" 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 title of the book to see additional details.

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 search tool 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. To find useful information in books, identify keywords that reflect the broader context for your topic rather than focusing on a narrow starting search.

Here is an example search. Topic searches usually begin with 2-3 search terms.

keyword example - college student diet

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

status location and call number information

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

Find a Book on the Shelf Video

Finding a Specific Book

To track down a copy of a specific book:

  • Identify an access point to search by (usually the title or author).
  • Search for your title or author in 1Search.
  • You can also use the facets on the right side of the screen to refine to print book or ebook.

If the book is at another library, choose Request from Summit to have it delivered to the Valley Library. You must be logged in to 1Search to see this option. You will receive an email when the book is available.

Enter exact title and choose OSU Libraries+Summit from the drop-down menu

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.