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FYS: Library Research

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Book Retrieval 101

Find a Book

To find a book use the Miller Library’s ONESearch discovery tool. This search tool allows you to search the entire library catalog. In order to search for books only choose the "Books" tab before searching. You can then search for books by keyword, author, or title. The Miller Library's collection contains both print and digital books

Sometimes you will need a book that is not available at the Miller Library. You can request books through the Miller Library's interlibrary loan program.  

Watch How to use ONESearch to learn more about searching for resources at the Miller Library. 

Need help finding a book? Ask a librarian for help. 


Find a Book on the Shelf

To find a book on the shelf in the Miller Library you need to know the book's call number -- unique identification code for each book. The Miller Library uses the Library of Congress Classification (LOC) system.

At the Miller Library, call numbers A through M can be found on the second floor, and call numbers N through Z can be found on the ground floor. Call number ranges are displayed on the ends of each shelving unit. On the ground floor, the shelves are movable. Don't be afraid to move the shelves when you need to find a book! Only two sections at a time please.

How to read LOC call numbers: 

1. The first line is a letter line. It is read alphabetically from A - Z. 

2. The second line is a whole number line. It is read numerically. 

3. The third line begins with a decimal followed by a letter. Treat each letter and digit separately. Letters are read alphabetically, and numbers are read as you would read digits following a decimal point. Sometimes this line can extend to the fourth line. 

4. Additional lines may include publication years, volume numbers, and number of copies. 

Still having trouble finding that book? Ask a librarian for help.


This diagram shows how books are arranged by their call numbers on a shelf.