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IRW Learning Community Research Guide: Find Books

Have the book delivered

You can have a book that is in any Rutgers library delivered to the most convenient libary of your choice. Click Book Delivery/Recall in the Library Catalog record.

Is the book checked out?

If a book you would like is checked out, you can search PALCI E-Z Borrow and request it from another library. It can take 3-5 days for the book to arrive.

Is it a scholarly book?

It can be difficult to tell if a book is scholarly unless you are looking at it. However, you can sometimes tell if it is published from a university press, or has editors. Check to see if it has a bibliography once you've taken it from the shelf.

Searching the Library Catalog

Look for a book:

  • Start off searching in the Library Catalog with a keyword search; type in a general word or two that best describes your topic.
  • Browse the results list to see if there is a title that looks relevant. If there are none, try your search again with some more specific terms.
  • If you find a relevant book, click on the title to see the full Library Catalog record. Write down the subject headings associated with the book.
  • Continue to browse the results list, and write down any related subject headings for relevant books.

Narrow it down:

  • Take the relavant subject headings you wrote down, and search by selecting "subject" from the drop-down bar next to the Library Catalog search box.
  • Try to mix and match some of the subject headings to find a wide variety of relevant books.


  • If you are having problems finding any relevant results, make a list of synonyms or similar phrases to your topic and try searching each of them.

Catalog Quick Search

Search all Rutgers Libraries for books, videos, media, microforms, and other materials.

Basic Search
Advanced Search
Call Number Search
My Library Account
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