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A reseach guide for Language, Literature & Culture

Finding Short Stories (or other materials) in IUCAT

When you are searching for short stories, whether by a specific author or not, first consider the keywords. In addition to using the author's name and the title of the work in your search, you can use additional keywords or search terms to find out more about an author or their work. Consider the effects of these terms on your searches:
  • Biography OR biografía
  • Short Stories OR cuentos
  • Symbolism OR simbolismo
  • Identity OR identidad
Examples of Search Statements:
  • cuentos AND ("Estados Unidos" OR "United states")
  • "short stories" AND (latino OR hispanic OR chicano) AND "United States"
  • (cuentos OR "short stories") AND ("United States" OR "Estados Unidos")
  • ("Garcia Marquez, Gabriel" OR  "Gabriel Garcia Marquez") AND (biography OR biografía)
  • "Cien años de soledad" AND ("realismo mágico" OR surrealismo OR "magical realism") 

Take note of the Subject headings on the records you find. These are "tagged" on item records to tell you what they are about. The way the library classifies material may not be what you expected; however, you can use these Subject headings in a new search:

Mexican Americans--Fiction. 
United States--Social life and customs--20th century--Fiction.

Other Materials 

To find other types of materials, consider what you need and turn it into keywords. For example, you might need a Spanish-English language dictionary. An example search might be: Spanish AND English AND Dictionary. Be sure to look at the Subject headings and to use them in a new search to find all the materials that are "tagged" with the same Subject headings:

Spanish language--Dictionaries--English. 
English language--Dictionaries--Spanish.


Using the Subject headings, also known as Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH), will be helpful to you if you decide to search HLAS, or the Handbook of Latin American Studies (see the "buscar artículos" page for a link). 

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:
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:



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.