Skip to main content

COMM 1101 Workshop Series: Find Books

Searching Library Catalog

Search Library catalog for print and online books, journals, reports, media, etc.


Plan your search. For example, your research topic is how second hand smoking affects children. Great topic, but  if you type this search,  "how second hand smoking affects children" into a database or library catalog search box, you will likely retrieve limited results or irrelevant results. Instead, you can plan your key terms using:

  • Synonyms:

second hand smoking/ tobacco smoking/ passive smoking
effects/health aspects/risk factors

  • Use Boolean operators: AND, OR, NOT
  • If you don't know an author or title of the book, start with a Quick Search using words or phrases describing your topic.
  • Make sure you type and spell correctly. The library catalog is very unforgiving with spelling.
  • You can filter results by location and publication date.

Once you have found a book you want, look and click at the Subject(s): pre-defined "controlled" terms that the Library of Congress has assigned to it in the library catalog record. For example:

  • White Collar Crimes, Business Ethics, Corporate Culture OR Narrower Terms: Bribery, Embezzlement, Tax Evasion OR Related Term: Commercial Crimes
  • Transgender People
  • Ecosystem Services
  • Symbolic interaction

Always look for Location, Call Number and Status in library catalog record:

When you find a book on a library shelf that you like, you may want to browse that same shelf area to see what other books there might be on your same topic. Our catalog uses the Library of Congress classification system, an alphanumeric system which groups books by subject categories. For example: 

  • HM (general and theoretical sociology)
  • HN   (social history and conditions, social problems and reform)
  • HQ   (marriage and family, sexual life, age groups, women and feminism)
  • HS   (secret and other societies, associations and clubs)
  • HT   (urban and rural sociology; social classes; and races and race relations, in general)
  • HV   (social work, charities, and public welfare; social pathologies; and criminology)
  • HX    (socialism and communism in general, utopias, and anarchism)
  • Z5703 (subject bibliography: criminology)
  • parts of Z161 - 7166 (subject bibliography: political and social sciences)

Search WorldCat

Search for an item in libraries near you:



Google Books

Interlibrary Loan

Can't find a book you need?  We can request the book from another library!  Just fill out the Interlibrary Loan Request Form

Get Online Access Support
• Eli M. Oboler Library • 850 S. 9th Avenue • Stop 8089 • Pocatello, Idaho, USA 83209 • Site Feedback - Library Webmaster
Licensing Restrictions for Use of Electronic Resources