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How to Find Information Resources; Books, Articles, and More

Learn about different information sources and how to access them.

Finding Books Video Tutorial

Finding Books

This tutorial demonstrates how to locate books and other library resources using the Leatherby Libraries online catalog. (Transcript | 4:54)

How to Borrow Items Video Tutorial

How to Borrow Items

In this tutorial, you will learn how to set up your ILLiad account to request items. (Transcript | 4:20)

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The Library Catalog is the starting point for locating books, DVDs, CDs, and other materials available at the Leatherby Libraries. The catalog is accessible 24/7 from any computer with Internet access, and is located right below the search box within the "Star Your Search" center column of the Library's homepage.

You may begin your search in the Catalog using the simple search box under "Start Your Search" (See: "Library catalog (books, e-books, media, and more)").

Library catalog (books, e-books, media, and more).

Simple Searching

The drop-down menu offers multiple ways to search for items in the Catalog including by title, author, subject, call number, keyword, and ISBN.

Searching by Keyword

For this example, we will search for books about organizational change. You could conduct a simple keyword search of the term: "organizational change". Selecting the "Search" button will activate the catalog search. The catalog search results will provide records describing the materials available through the library. Please note that typos or misspelled terms may affect your results.

The initial list of results provides the title, author, and call number information of materials relevant to your search. Selecting the title link listed in the results will take you to a page with further information about that item.

Sample Catalog Record

The sample full catalog record provided displays (1) location, (2) CALL #, and (3) status. The "available" status tells us that the book is on the shelf and available for checkout.

Brandman University patrons may request items marked as available in the Catalog to be sent to your home by submitting a request through interlibrary loan.

Note: the subjects (encircled) which are linked to help you locate related resources.

In the case of a record for an e-book (that is entirely viewable online), you will see the link: "connect to electronic book". Selecting this link should take you to the e-book, where you can view it in its entirety.


Advanced Searching

The Advanced Search hyperlink is located just beneath the drop-down menu at the Library homepage. 

Library Catalog_Advanced Search

Clicking on this hyperlink will take you to the catalog's Advanced Keyword Search interface as shown below:

Advanced Search

To perform an advanced keyword search (the number icons in the image correspond to the following activities):

  • Enter your search terms in the boxes. You can use the boxes to build a search with multiple terms, if needed.
  • Under the "Add Limits (Optional)" section, you may enter specific years of publication or place other limitations, such as material type (e-books, DVD/VHS, etc.).

You can scroll down to a section titled "Search Tips" for help on building a search.

While it may initially be daunting to understand , the following chart breaks down a Library of Congress call number into its simplest form. The following example is for Spatially Integrated Social Science, a book located in the 2 nd Floor Doy and Dee Henley Library of Social Sciences. This book has been assigned the call number HA 30.6 .S665 2004.


Each item in a library’s collection has a unique “address” known as its call number. Classification systems are used to assign call numbers. Commonly used systems in the United States are the Dewey Decimal Classification System , primarily used at public and school libraries, and the Library of Congress Classification System, primarily used at academic libraries. The Leatherby Libraries items are shelved according to their assigned call numbres and based on Library of Congress Classification Outline within their subject related locations (Social Sciences, Humanities, Business, Education, Fine Arts, Music, Science and Technology, etc.) spread out in different floors of the library. 

A comprehensive outline of the system is available on the Library of Congress' Website.

Major Classes of the Library of Congress Classification System

The system is made up of 21 major classes. The letters and titles of the main classes are listed below:

  • A – General Works
  • B – Philosophy, Psychology, Religion
  • C – Auxiliary Sciences of History
  • D – World History & History of Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, etc.
  • E – History of the Americas
  • F – History of the Americas
  • G – G eography, Anthropology, Recreation
  • H – Social Sciences
  • J – Political Science
  • K – Law
  • L – Education
  • M – Music and Books on Music
  • N – Fine Arts
  • P – Language and Literature
  • Q – Science
  • R – Medicine
  • S – Agriculture
  • T – Technology
  • U – Military Science
  • Y – Naval Science
  • Z – Bibliography, Library Science, Information Resources (General)

Example of a Subclasses of the Library of Congress Classification System

Each class is then divided into subclasses, allowing the organi zation of a library’s collection to become more precise. For an example, we will look at the subclasses for N – Fine Arts and its subclass NB --Sculpture

  • Subclass N - Visual Arts
  • Subclass NA - Architecture 
  • Subclass NB - Sculpture
  • Subclass NC - Drawing. Design. Illustration.
  • Subclass ND - Painting 
  • Subclass NE - Print media
  • Subclass NK - Decorative arts
  • Subclass NX - Arts in general

We can then look closer at Subclass NB Sculpture and conclude with an example of a book on sculpture from the Leatherby Libraries Online Catalog:

  • NB1 - 1952 - Sculpture
  • NB1 - 50 - General
  • NB60 - 1115 - History Including collective biography
  • NB1120 - 1133 - Study and teaching
  • NB1134 - 1134.4 - Competitions
  • NB1135 - 1150 - General works
  • NB1160 - 1195 - Designs and technique
  • NB1 199 - 1200 - Restoration of sculptures
  • NB1203 - 1270 - Special materials
  • NB1272 - 1291 - Mobiles, color, sculpture gardens, etc.
  • NB1293 - 1895 - Special forms
  • NB1293 - 1310 - Portrait sculpture
  • NB1312 - 1313 - Equestrian statues
  • NB1330 - 1685 - S culptural monuments
  • NB1750 - 1793 - Religious monuments and shrines
  • NB1800 - 1880 - Sepulchral monuments
  • NB1910 - 1952 - Special subjects

Now that we have examined the NB subclass, we can better understand why a call number beginning with NB 1180 was assigned to the book above. From the outline of the NB subclass above, we can see that this number falls within the “Designs and techniques” of sculpture. This book , Sculpture: Techniques in Clay, Wax, Slate , has two subjects assigned to it: “Sculpture – Technique” and “Modeling” (see circled area).


All information presented above is from the Library of Congress Classification Outline for Class N – Fine Arts

Use Discover! to search across multiple databases with a single search.

Discover! enables you to cross-search the majority of the Library’s electronic (online) and physical resources and, as such, is a great place to begin searching on most topics for various types of materials. Once you conduct an initial search in Discover!, you can limit your results in a variety of ways, including books and e-books.

Here are steps you can take to search for books and e-books using Discover!.

  • Begin at the library's homepage at 
  • Find the Discover! search box located under “Start Your Search.” 
  • Enter your search terms into the search box (as shown below).

  • Click "Search."
  • Login with your University username and password when prompted (the same you use for Blackboard).
  • When available, you can limit to e-books only by checking the box next to "Books" under "Source Types". You might need to click on "Show More" to see the "Books" option.


For additional information regarding Leatherby Libraries circulation policies, please visit