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Why Use a Reference Book?
Reference books are designed to provide you with an introduction to a given topic. In other words, they serve as a starting point for students who don't already possess a foundational knowledge of that topic. Though reference books don't necessarily get cited in research papers, they certainly can play an important role in helping you early on in your research process.
Off-Campus Access Problems?
If you're having problems with off-campus access to an online library resource (chiefly research databases, e-books, and streaming video), the most common reason is that it doesn't recognize you as an authorized user. An easy way to fix this problem is to go to the MyUrsuline webpage and log in. Then continue to use that same browser when accessing library resources.
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FINDING BOOKS IN THE LIBRARY CATALOG
SEARCHING IN THE CATALOG
In the library catalog you can search for books in multiple ways, including using a keyword, an author, a subject, and/or a title. All of these will produce different results in the catalog.
A keyword search produces results for any item in the catalog whose record includes the word or phrase you are searching. So, for example, if your search term is medieval history, you may get results with that phrase in the title, table of contents, summary, etc. Keyword searches are therefore the broadest way to search, oftentimes resulting in many--sometimes too many--results.
College library catalogs usually use Library of Congress subject headings (LCSH) as a means for classifying content. In comparison with keywords, subject headings (which you'll see in each catalog record as clickable links) constitute a highly regimented and consistent system of organization.
If you know an exact subject heading for a given topic, you can conduct a subject search in the library catalog. Here are some examples of Library of Congress subject headings you can use when conducting this kind of catalog search:
If you find a book to use that's in the library's circulating collection (2nd floor), you might also want to browse those books on the shelf next to it since they might be on the same general topic.
SELECTED LIBRARY REFERENCE BOOKS
IN THE LIBRARY (2nd floor)
SELECTED CIRCULATING LIBRARY BOOKS (2nd floor)
SELECTED LIBRARY E-BOOKS