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How to Research in the Library

by Phyllis Nethercot

December 08, 2010

Medieval Help Desk - humorous look at "using" a book 

Freshman Academy Library Catalog (school access only)

Use the library catalog to find books by entering a subject, author, title, or call number (use boolean search).

High School Library Catalog (school access only)

Probably the most important thing about locating a book on the shelf is writing down the CALL NUMBER.  Writing down the call number will help you locate the book later.  

Books are grouped together in different sections.  Fiction books are alphabetized by the Author's last name. Biographies are alphabetized by the Subject's last name. Non-fiction and Reference books use the Dewey Decimal System of Classification.

    "Do We" Really Know Dewey is a fun way to review the Dewey Decimal     System

    Dewey Decimal Classification Numbers - a list of the categories 

Examples of CALL NUMBERS: 

        FIC AND  - a fiction book by an author whose last names starts with AND

        BIO or B LIN - a biography about a person whose last name starts with LIN

        REF 292 GRA - a reference book about mythology, the author's last         name starts with GRA

        780.2 ROB - a non-fiction book about music, the author's last name         starts with ROB

There will not be books about every topic.  Sometimes you have to look at the TABLE OF CONTENTS or INDEX of a book to see if it includes what you are looking for.  

Evaluating Print Sources such as books, journal articles, magazines, etc. (Writing Center, University of North Carolina) is an important tool in research.  

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