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English

This is a general guide for students of English. Please contact the librarian if you have questions.

IUCAT Search Tips

Search tips for IUCAT

  • Use quotation marks to search as a phrase.
  • Use "+" before a term to make it required. (Otherwise results matching only some of your terms may be included).
  • Use "-" before a word or phrase to exclude.
  • Use "OR", "AND", and "NOT" to create complex boolean logic. 
  • Truncation and wildcards are not supported - word-stemming is done automatically.

Access more help at the Libraries at IU KB:

If you find a book in IUCAT that is relevant to your topic, check to see which Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) are attached to its catalog record.  By clicking on any of the subject headings you can see all of the other books that share that classification.  It may help you find more books relevant to your topic.

ILL

If you cannot find a book in University Library you can request a copy from another IU Library or another institution through Interlibrary Loan (ILL):

WorldCat

WorldCat searches libraries all over the nation and the world so it will find many more books, however, it will take longer for them to arrive.

More Help

Contact me or another library staff person if you need more assistance.

Understanding LC Call Numbers

What exactly is a call number anyway?
A call number is the unique number given to each book in the library. Call numbers are like addresses, they tell you where a book will be located in the library.

Why should I know how to read one?
If you understand how to read a call number, it will be a lot easier for you to find books in the library.

What does a call number look like?
This library uses LC call numbers (LC stands for Library of Congress), which use a combination of letters and numbers. The same exact call number can be written 2 different ways:

A call number that you find in IUCAT (the online library catalog) will look like this:
CT105 .K55 1981

And that same call number will look like this on the spine of the book:
CT
105
.K55
1981
 
So, here's how you read a call number on the spine of a book:
CT        --Read it alphabetically (A, B, C, CT, D, E, F, G, H, HA, HQ, etc.)
105       --Read it numerically (1, 10, 100, 100.5, 105, 1005.10, etc.)
.K55     --Read alphabetically and then decimally (.A23, .A233, .A33, .B4555, .B50, etc.)
1981     --The final line is a date.
 
And here is how this book would be placed on the shelf:

CT
104
.P281
1930
CT
104
.P7
1830
CT
105
.H866
1995 
CT
105
.K55
1981 
D
105
.H43
1992

 

So now that I know how to read a call number, how do I use it to find books in the library?

  1. When you find a book that looks interesting in IUCAT, make sure you write down the entire call number.
  2. Check the location code to find out in what library the book will be (IUCAT contains books from all IU libraries).
  3. Look at the first letter(s) of the call number. Use this to figure out what part of the library to go to. Once you are on the correct floor, look for labels at the end of each set of bookshelves. These will tell you what call numbers can be found on those shelves.
  4. Find the book on the shelf and take it to the Service & Information Desk (2nd Floor) to check it out.