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DIY Research Guide

Quick lessons on how to best use the library's resources.

Even though you can find books by using the default search box on the home page, it is actually much easier to just use the Smart Search option for books.

When you click ont the Smart Search option for books the next screen defaults to a search box for the catalog for Camden-Carroll Library.  You will notice though that you have the option to search for books in other libraries.

Step One -- If you want to find books owned by the library at MSU type in your keyword and click on "Search". 

Be sure to familiarize yourself with the Shelf Location Guide.  This will tell you where in the building to find the location and call number given in any particular record.

 

Step Two -- Here is an example of a results list.  Notice that you have many options on the left side of the screen to refine your search.  In this case we are interested and item #4 and so we will click on the book title.
 

 

Step Three -- If it is a physical item (book, DVD, etc.) the record will tell you whether the book is on the shelf or checked out.  In the case it says "Available" meaning that if you go to look for it on the shelf it should be there.  On the same line it gives you the location (in this case MAIN COLLECTION) and it gives you the call number (530.092 E35i).  This one line in the record gives you all the information you need to locate retrieve the book from the shelves.

 

 

Step Four -- There other useful things in the record that can potentially save you a lot of time. 

For example, you can click on "Citation" to have the record automatically formatted in whatever citation style is required for your assignment, e.g., APA, MLA, Chicago.... 

If you look at the list of Subjects and find one that matches the focus of your research, then you can click on that subject heading to launch a new search in the catalog that will retrieve items that are relevant.  This is much more accurate and precise than a keyword search.

 

Step One -- If you want to find books not owned by the library at MSU but which can be requested via interlibrary loan, then type in your keyword and click on "Search".

 

Step Two -- Here is an example of a results list.  Notice that you have many options on the left side of the screen to refine your search.  Each item clearly states whether it is in the MSU library or not.  In this case we are interested in the third item because it is held by other libraries.  This means that is can be requested via interlibrary loan.  Click on the title of this book.

 

 

Step Three -- You can expand the "View Description" area to get information about the book and confirm that you actually do want it.  If you do simply click on the "Request it" button.

 

 

Step Four -- Off-campus users will be prompted to log in with their Eagle account credentials.  On-campus users will be sent directly to the request form with many of the fields already populated from the WorldCat record. 

Additional step-by-step instructions are available on our "Request & Delivery Services" page.