Library Research Skills Tutorial About the tutorial
Using Resources

Using books

You can find information about many aspects of using books (monographs) throughout this tutorial. This section will help you to understand about the different types of books available and how to locate and evaluate them.

Locating books

If you want to locate a library copy of a specific book for which you have the bibliographic details, try the following steps:

  1. Start by using the library catalogue of your home institution. Some online library catalogues do not cover older material, you should ask a member of library staff if there is a card catalogue which you also need to check. If your search in the catalogue is successful you will need to note down the classmark in order to find the book in the library.

  2. If your home library does not hold the book you require, try searching the library catalogues of any other libraries you may have access to. The planning library visits section of the tutorial can provide further help with this or you can always ask a member of library staff. If your search is successful and you intend to visit another library for the first time you should always find out what their entrance requirements are, for example a specific university ID card.

  3. If you are unable to access the book in a local library then ask at your home library if it is possible to obtain the book through the inter-library loan service. You should ensure you allow plenty of time if you intend to obtain a book which is important to your research in this way.

If you wish to purchase a copy of a book here are some details of publishers, online book shops and specialists in out-of-print and second hand books.


Elsewhere in this tutorial you can find help on other aspects of using books, such as copyright, photocopying and referencing.

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