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Library Basics

Finding Books and eBooks

  • To find books or electronic books using our online catalog, go to the main library homepage.
  •  You can search by title of the book, author, or keywords to begin.

Find Books


then use the search box:

Quick book search

  • You can see that our search result for the book title, Successful College Writing, came back with 79 results.
  • These results include print books (physical copies in the library), ebooks, and journal articles.
  • To search for books on our shelves, click the next tab to learn more about using catalog limiters.


To search for print books only:

  • Find the "Filter my results" column on the right hand side of the screen.
  • Check the "Books" and "On Shelf" tab and click the green "Apply Filter" button at the bottom.
  • The search should yield only physical copies of books in the library.


To access online books:

  • Limit your search to "Books" and "Full Text Online" on the right hand side of your catalog search (see previous tab, Using Limiters).
  • Click "Online Access" on the eBook record in the catalog.
  • You will be redirected to a new page (example below).
  • Click on "PDF Full Text" to access full eBook.
  • The tools on the right hand side allow for downloading, citation help, and saving the eBook.

Call numbers are the address or location for books in the library. 
Within the library, books can be found in the following areas:

  • Reserve - books behind the information desk that are for in-house library use only.
  • Reference - located in front of the information desk by the magazines. Reference books cannot be checked out.
  • Circulating Collection - located in "the stacks," and can be borrowed for four weeks.
  • Online Collection - Books available online to read on the internet. 

Please ask a Houff librarian if you need help locating a book!

Search Strategies

Searching with Keywords and Boolean operators can help enhance your search results in the library catalog and databases. Watch the videos below to learn more about Keywords and Boolean.