If you already know the titles or authors of specific books, you may look them up in area library catalogs by either title or author.
If you are looking for books on a particular topic,
you may search by Library of Congress subject heading or by keyword
(if you are using an online catalog). A keyword is any specific, significant
word; it might appear in the title of the book or the subject heading
assigned to it. For example, you might find books by entering a keyword
that you assume will show up in a book title, such as globalization or wetlands or burnout. (General, non-specific words
such as history or universal or research won't
be so helpful.)
You can do a more complete search for books listed in a catalog if you use Library of Congress subject headings. These are the authorized subject terms used in almost every college and university library. Most libraries have a set of big red books near their catalogs for you to check (ask if you don't see them). For instance, if you were working on a topic dealing with environmental assessment, you could look up this term in the Library of Congress Subject Heading volumes and find that the authorized term is really ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ANALYSIS. These volumes also help you identify related terms (RT), broader terms (BT), and narrower terms (NT) associated with your topic. Medical libraries often use Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) in addition to Library of Congress Subject Headings.
If you know about certain books that would be useful but cannot find
them in nearby libraries, you should consult your library's Interlibrary
Contact: Karen Vaughan firstname.lastname@example.org