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Research Guides

The Research Process: A How-To Guide: 3. Find Books

This guide walks you through the seven steps of the research process.

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Search Library Catalog

Library Catalog

Use this box to search the Geisel Library catalog for books and other materials in the library collection.

Search WorldCat


Use WorldCat to search the collections of libraries worldwide. If you find a book in this database that is not owned by Geisel Library, you can request it through Interlibrary Loan by clicking on the "Request via Interlibrary Loan" link in the book's catalog record.

Search tips

Start with a Keyword search on the various keywords you identified in Steps 1 and 2.

Two helpful tips:

  • Use the Boolean operators of AND and OR to connect your terms, as shown in the work form in Step 1.  To learn more, watch our video tutorial on Boolean operators.
  • Use the asterisk (*) to search for variations of a word; for example, deter* will find books that mention the words deter, deterrent, or deterrence.

Examples of good searches:

  • Afghanistan AND (women or female) AND rights
  • (death penalty OR capital punishment) AND deter*
  • Thoreau AND (natur* OR wilderness OR environment*)

When you find a useful book in the catalog, click on the Subject Headings in its catalog record to identify additional books on the same topic.

Locating books on the shelf

Each item in the library is assigned a call number, using the Library of Congress Classification System. This system organizes materials by subject.  To learn more, see our guide to Understanding Call Numbers.

When you find a useful book in Library Catalog, make note of its title and call number.  

Watch for the red Ebook icon Ebook Iconin your search results, which indicates that the book can be read online.