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Research Fundamentals: Books

A guide to print and online resources for starting your research.

Getting the Book

Where is my book?

First, check location--tells you which library on campus owns the book, Snell or another library OR if the book is located in a special area.

Check Status--"Available" means you may borrow the book!
Then check Call # for which floor to visit (Hint: the letters are important, the first letter(s) determines floor location

For SNELL LOCATIONS and floor maps.


Call numbers are based on the Library of Congress Classification. More importantly, it's how you can find things in the library.

Some hints to understanding a call number and finding your "stuff" on the shelf:

  • The first letters of the call number represent the subject of the book.
  • The letter-and-decimal section of the call number often represents the author's last name.
  • The last section of a call number is often the date of publication.
    Here's an example from University of California Santa Cruz Library 
    (accessed 2 April 2013)


ALL of the subjects under the  Library of Congress Classification.



Don't worry. 

The Interlibrary Loan Service, called  ILLiad, allows you to request delivery of Books, videos, articles and other materials not available at the NU Libraries.

This service is free of charge to NU students, faculty and staff. 

Working with Books