In the library catalog, you can search for books in multiple ways, including using a keyword, an author, a subject, and a title. All of these will produce different results in a library’s catalog.
Try a keyword search in the catalog with the author's name and compare that to an author search (if you type in Emily Dickinson the catalog will ask it you mean Dickinson, Emily. Yes, you do.)
Tip: An author search for an author's name will bring up books by the author, not about him or her.
You might also check to see if a bibliography has been published on the author you're researching. To search the catalog for these, try the author's name and "bibliography" as a keyword search. Example: emily dickinson bibliography
A Subject search can be done with the author's last name, and first name (Dickinson, Emily). The results will show all of the subjects combinations we have on that author. For example, within this search, it listed:
If you have found a book you want to use, you might also want to look at its call number. Books on the same subject will have a similar number so that they can be put on the shelf next to each other. For example, the majority of books about Emily Dickinson will start with the call number PS 1541