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Hackney Library

WRT 102: Composition II

"Physical Books and Media" Link = Library Catalog (for Finding Books and Other Items Housed in the Library)

Go to the library's home page ( and look for the "Physical Books and Media" link on the library's home page, and then click on it.  After you click, you will see a "Search the Catalog" box where you can type in what you're looking for, as indicated below:

Scroll to the next box to see how to search the catalog for a print book. 

Tip:  Our library catalog contains ONLY books in physical format (print), NOT E-Books!

Search the Catalog For a Print Book

To find a book in our catalog, in the box that appears on the page, type in a word or phrase to find items you are looking for on your topic.  The example below is for catalog items (including print books, among other items, but very few electronic books--we are removing those from our catalog bit by bit) about animal rights.

Now scroll down to the next section to see how to interpret your search results.

Results of Your Catalog Search

In the screen shot below, you'll see that the catalog has found 92 items (circled in turquoise) that contain the phrase "animal rights" somewhere in the record for them (title, subject heading, notes field, etc.)  These items are in a variety of formats, including books, listed in the Format section (circled in red) in the left sidebar.

Filtering Your Catalog Results to Books Only

To choose print books only (removing all other formats from your results list, such as DVDs, click on the Book limit in the Format section (circled below in red--you'll notice that there are 63 books dealing with animal rights):

Now that you have chosen the format for "Book" only, your list should now contain only those 63 items in that format (notice that "Book" is circled in red under the cover image for each book in the partial search results shown in the following screen shot--you should no longer see items in other formats, such as Audiovisuals, in your results list):


Now scroll down to the next section to see how you can get more information about a particular item in your results list.

Finding Out More About a Book from Its Catalog Record

Let's say you wanted to find out more about the second item in the book list above, Roger Scruton's Animal Rights and Wrongs, published in 2000.  To do so, click on the title link for that book (Animal Rights and Wrongs) to be taken to the complete catalog record about that book, which will help you determine if you want to use it, and if so, where to find it. 

The screen shot below shows you a portion of the catalog record for this book.  Notice the title and author are listed at the very top of the record and also below the table in the record (both occurrences are circled in turquoise).  

In addition, there is more info in the catalog record; to find out more about how that helps you locate this book, scroll down to the next section.

Collection = Location in the Library

Now we will focus on the "Collection" information in the three-celled table in te detailed record above, which corresponds to the physical location in the library building of each of the groups of items in our catalog (therefore, collection = location).  Our library contains many collections (including General, Fiction, Curriculum Lab, Audiovisual, to name a few).

To know where to find your book, you first need to know:

  1. what collection it is shelved in, and
  2. where that collection is physically located in the library. 

Most of our items are located in various collections on the second floor of the library.  Scroll down to look at the following floor plan of the library's second floor and find the General Collection, highlighted in red (this is the largest collection in the library and takes up much of the second floor):


Next, scroll down to the next section to see how to locate where this book on animal rights is located in the library.

Finding the Collection/Location of "Animal Rights and Wrongs"

Let's look again at the record for the book Animal Rights and Wrongs. In the screen shot below, notice the left-hand cell of the three-celled table in the middle of the record (it is circled in red):



That lets you know where in the building you need to go to retrieve that book--in this case, the General Collection (which you now know is located on the second floor of the library).  Don't forget to use your floor plan to help you locate collections.

To see how to find the book within the General Collection, scroll down to the next section.


Finding the Book on a Shelf Within a Specific Collection

Now that you know in what Collection the book you're looking for is housed, you need to find it on a shelf within that collection.  You do this by identifying the book's call number, the number on its spine that is assigned to it based on the subject it covers. 

In our library, we use the Dewey Decimal System to classify most items, including books.  Books and other items that cover similar topics are given similar call numbers (for example, books on religion are assigned Dewey Decimal call numbers in the 200s, books on education and the social sciences in the 300s, books on language in the 400s, books on math and science in the 500s, and so on). 

To find the call number of your book, look in the catalog record's central "Shelf Location" cell of the three-celled table, in this case for the book Animal Rights and Wrongs.  Notice that the call number is circled in red in the catalog record that follows.  (Note that when you are locating the book, you will need to write down ALL the numbers and letters in that cell in order to find the book on the shelf.):

Now that you know the call number of your book (179.3 Scr84a), you're almost there.  To make sure that your book is available on the shelf, you must look at one more item in the catalog record.  Scroll down to the next section to see what that is...


Checking the Status of the Book Before Looking For It

Before you can go to the shelf in the General Collection to locate your book, you must first make sure it is available (not checked out, not missing, not lost, etc.).  You do so by looking at the "Status" cell on the far right of the three-celled table in the catalog record, circled in red below:

The green "Checked In" status lets you know that book is available on the shelf.  If the status message is in red (such as "Checked Out," "Not Available," "Missing," or "Lost", for example), then that book is not available for you to check out and you will have to ask a librarian for help in locating it, or you may have to look for another book instead.

So before you go off with the title, author, collection, and call number written down in search of your book, remember to check that the contents of the Status box are in green.  Now go to the Retrieving Your Book box below to learn how to retrieve your book.

Retrieving Your Book from the Shelf

If the status of your book is in green, you are now ready to look for your book!  Simply do the following:

  • Jot down the Collection name, the title and author of the book, plus the complete call number (or if you're using your mobile device, take the catalog record displayed on your screen with you) and then, 
  • Go to the Collection (remember, this is the location in the building where your book is housed),
  • Then use the signs on the ends of each range of shelving to help you locate your book's call number within the beginning call number and ending call number on that particular shelf. (Note that the call number for this book, 179.3 Scr84a, falls within the range of numbers on the label on this shelf [170 U- 200.973 M141]). See the image below:


Next, find the books (on the same side of the range that your call number falls within) that have 179 on their spines, then those with 179.3 S a little further along to the right of those, then those with 179.3 Sa.... a little further yet, until you locate your book between 179.3 Sa37a and 179.3 Su74a (see the screen shot below).  

(If you're having trouble finding it, come downstairs and ask a librarian for help.)

Once you've found your book, retrieve it from the shelf and scroll down to find out how/where to check it out.

Checking Out Your Book

Now that you have found your book, you must check it out to take it with you outside the library.  (Note that you may use books and other items within the library without checking them out.)

To check it out:

  • Take your book to the Circulation Desk, located on the first floor of the library (the big rectangular desk located near the front door).  You must use your Barton ID/badge to check out materials. 
  • Take your book and your ID to the desk and hand them to the attendant there.  They will check it out for you.  Typical lending periods are for 28 days, and most items can be renewed at least once if no one else has placed a hold on them.  The library worker will tell you when it is due. 
  • They will also desensitize the book before you leave so you don't set off the anti-theft alarm when you leave the building with the book.

Now you are ready to search for a print book in our catalog!


Creating Your Own MLA Citation

Because the online catalog does not create citations in any style, you will need to use the tools at the link in the  left sidebar for MLA Style Resources to help you create your own citation yourself.