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English 102 : Fairy Tales: Books

a guide to library research for Professor Mimidas's English 102 class

Using the Libraries Catalog to find books

Using the online catalog

You can get to the catalog right from the Libraries’ home page.  In the quick search box, please select the second tab from the left, Books and Media.  You can also use the link,

Enter the information you have and then use the pull down menu to identify your terms as an author’s name, the title of the book, keywords or a subject heading.  Click “Search.”

The catalog search engine will respond with a list of brief entries for items that match the terms you entered.  The brief entries include the book title, author, and publication date.  A list of owning libraries follows with the call numbers for the book at that library.  If the library name is in green, the book is on the shelf there.

To obtain more information about the book and its availability, click on the title.  This takes you to the complete bibliographic entry for the book.  Now you can see the publisher, a link to a description, a link to the table of contents for more recent publications and some access options.  If the book is owned by a library other than the one on your campus, you can click on “Book Delivery” to have the book pulled and sent to your favorite library for you to check out.  If no copies are available at Rutgers, you will see the link to place an E-Z Borrow request.

The complete bibliographic entry page offers you some other important options.  On the right, you’ll see a list of Tools including cite information and exporting to a citation manager.  Also on the right, you’ll find a list of subject headings that have been used to describe the content of the book.  By clicking on one that seems appropriate to your topic, you will be taken to a list of all the books classified to the same subject heading.  This may help you to enlarge the number of books you can use for your research.

For more information, please watch the following 3-minute video:

Some suggestions for subject searching

Apartheid – South Africa

Carter, Angela – Criticism and interpretation

Fairy tales - Adaptations

Fairy tales – History and criticism

Gordimer, Nadine – Criticism and interpretation

Little Red Riding Hood (Tale)

Middle class – South Africa

Racism – South Africa

South Africa – Social conditions, 1961-1994

Reading call numbers

What's a call number?

            A call number tells you the location of the book in the library.  It is based on the subject and serves to group together all the books on a particular subject.  Call numbers follow a format: one or two letters to identify a broad subject area, a number up to 4 digits to indicate a specific subject, a letter followed by a decimal number for the author’s last name, and the date of publication.

Each call number is unique to the book title.

Where do I begin?

The call number is read from left to right and from top to bottom.   Here's an example:   




which stands for a book by Meta DuEwa Jones entitled The muse is music : jazz poetry from the Harlem Renaissance to spoken word.  PS tells us that the book is classified in American Literature.  Since this is a very large field, we must provide more information by adding a number, in this case, 310.  The book now has a letter-number combination which stands for Poetry in the subclass, American Literature.  On the next line, .J39 indicates a further refinement of the subject, jazz poetry.  The next letter and number combination, J66, refers to the first letter of the author’s last name with a decimal representing the placement of “Jones, M” in alphabetical order.  The general rule to remember is that all the books are arranged in strictly alphabetical and numerical order so that PA comes before PS. 305 before 310, and .J39J66 after .J39J5 (don’t forget the decimal feature for both these elements)  The last line in the call number is the publication date.

            In both the reference and circulating collections, you will notice that each range of bookcases is labeled with the call numbers of the first and last books in the row.  When you reach the appropriate aisle, scan the call numbers until you reach the bookcase with your book.  Then face the bookcase and read it as though it were a book: Each shelf is a sentence and each new bookcase section is the next page.

Options when you don’t see the book you want:

Check the Online Catalog to make sure you have the correct call number.  The entry for the book should also indicate that Dana’s copy has the status, In-library.  When you look at the brief entry, the call number is in green.  If the book you want is in the catalog as in library and not on the shelf, please report it as missing to the staff at the Circulation Desk in the Lobby.  They will mark the book missing at Dana so you may request a copy owned by another Rutgers library. 

Requesting books unavailable through RUL

Using E-Z Borrow

When the University Libraries doesn’t own a book title you want or when the copy owned by the Libraries is not available to you (checked out or missing), you may request a copy using E-Z Borrow,a resource sharing consortium which includes forty academic libraries in Pennsylvania and a few out of state libraries like Rutgers.  When the book you want is unavailable, the online catalog provides an E-Z Borrow button to the right of the item description.  You may also find a link on the home page.  Just click on Services and Tools, the second choice on the red bar.  Then select the first choice on the left, Borrow/Renew/Request.  After loggin in with your netID and password, you may search the catalog using the brief search which is provided or clicking on Advanced Search at the top of the screen.  When you identify the book you want and place a request, the item will arrive in less than a week for you to check out.  You will receive an email when the book is ready for you to check out at the Circulation Desk.  You may borrow the book for a period of six weeks with a six week renewal.  


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