Skip to Main Content

Research Skills Tutorial: 3. Finding Books

Intended to help you develop the skills required to complete research assignments

Why use books for research? 

Books can be great sources for your research. They: 

  • Provide broad overviews of a topic 

  • Put your topic in context with other issues

  • Discuss big ideas or issues

Reading from books can make it easier for you to understand academic articles on the topic. 

Do I need to read a whole book? 

No, not usually. Just read what is useful to your research. You can start by reading the introduction of a book and any relevant chapters.

Test Your Knowledge!

Which book comes first on the shelf?
330.5 LAM: 42 votes (13.59%)
330.45 ADA: 169 votes (54.69%)
330.451 ABA: 98 votes (31.72%)
Total Votes: 309

Search for books!

Q: How do I find books on the library's website?

Scroll down the library homepage and click on Find Materials. Click on Find Books and eBooks. Then simply search using a keyword or two in the search bar. When searching for books, you are matching your keywords with the words that appear in book titles and short descriptions of our books. Start simple, by using one or two broad keywords to search. If you have too many results, you can searching with narrower keywords.


All of the books in the library have a call number. When you search the library for books, the call number appears under "Shelf Location."

Screenshot from library catalogue with call number circled

The call number is the book's address. Books are arranged on the shelf by call number, from smallest to largest number.

Call numbers must be read in sequence:

  • 333.790911 comes before 333.8 on the shelf
  • Books are arranged alphabetically next: 333.8 CLA comes before 333.8 SMI

Each book has a label on it, with its call number:

Photograph of books on the shelf