Western Libraries

Finding Books in the Library Catalogue

Finding Books

What are books used for?

Books are  good for:

  • An introduction to your topic
  • Basic or background information
  • Data

Books tend to cover broader topics. You may not find a whole book entirely on your topic, but a book may have a pertinent chapter on your topic.

How do you find them?

On the library homepage, click on the "Catalogue Search" link underneath the main search box, or click on the 'Catalogue' tab in the navigation area on the top. Either way will take you to the catalogue search.

  • By keyword: Make sure to consider synonyms and alternate spellings when choosing keywords. Try using the search strategy techniques. You can use Boolean operators to search the catalogue.
  • By subject: If you find a book you like, try clicking the Subject Headings in the 'Subject' section at the bottom of the catalogue record to find more books on the same subject.
  • By title: To find a particular book with its citation in hand, enter the title of the book in the Title search.


Some facts about books:

  • Some books are online; some are in print in the library. You can access the ebooks content via the links in the catalogue.
  • Each book’s catalogue record tells you the location, call number, and current availability of the book. See an example below.
  • Clicking on the location code (eg. TAY stack) will open a floor plan of the library

If you are not familiar with call numbers and how to use them to find books, here is a video on introductions to call numbers. If you are having trouble searching for or locating books, you can get help at the Service Desk of any library on campus.