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Finding Books in the OU Library

Both Discover and the Local Catalog allow you to find ebooks and printed books housed in Bizzell Memorial Library, the branch libraries, the special collections, the law library, and in storage, which includes the government documents collection. They also list all the journals, magazines, newspapers, microfilm, etc. at these locations. (Discover also lists journal articles, but the catalog does not.)

The catalog is a subset of Discover and automatically retrieves only the ebooks, books, journals, magazines, etc. in the locations mentioned above. In Discover, to see a list of only the books, you must use the filters, or, in "advanced search," limit the search to "material type" "book" before hitting search.

Using Filters to Find Books in Discover

This is a screenshot showing what the filters look like. To limit to books, you would just click on books, which in this case would bring up 138 titles.

Limiting a Search to Books in Discover

This is how to limit a Discover (advanced search) to just books before clicking the search function. (If this picture is too small please use control, or command, and the + sign to increase the size of the content on this webpage.)

Worldcat: Get Books from Other Libraries

Search the Worldcat database to find books held by other libraries. Worldcat is an international catalog of books and other materials owned by thousands of libraries.

You may borrow (interlibrary loan) materials through the Worldcat database. Interlibrary loan is free! But give yourself time for a book to come through the mail.

Please note that occasionally the Worldcat database indicates that the OU library owns an item when the Local Catalog does not list that item. Usually, the item has been reported lost or missing and is no longer available from our library. Please contact me if you have any questions:

Browsing the Book Stacks

Materials in the University Libraries are placed on the shelves based in one of the following call number, or book locator, systems:

  • Library of Congress: call number begins with a letter.
    • For a breakdown of the Library of Congress system, see this page. On that page, see C, D, E, F, for most history-related call numbers.
  • Dewey Decimal System: call number begins with a number.
    • This system was used before about 1970, when the Libraries switched to the Library of Congress system.
    • Anything with a Dewey Decimal call number was published before about 1970 and is in what we call "the Decks" - the oldest part of the library.
    • For a breakdown of the Dewey Decimal System see this page. History is in the 900s.

See this page for the shelf / floor location charts for both call number systems.