Answered By: Tiffany Hebb
Last Updated: Aug 26, 2023     Views: 33


To look for books, start with WorldCat Discovery (the search box on the libraries' home page). You can search for a specific book by title, look for an author's name to find their works, or you can put in subject keywords to find lots of books. If you want a book that DePauw doesn't own, you can request a copy to be borrowed from another library - this is called Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

Finding Ebooks: 

Once you see a book record that looks promising, you'll want to see if DePauw owns it, and, if so, if it's a print book or an e-book. Here's what to look for: availability (if we own it and it's not checked out, you'll see a green note), and format (if it's an ebook, you'll see a blue "view ebook" button). We get ebooks from multiple vendors, so they vary - but most allow you to download or print a set number of pages or a chapter - or you can read them online. The Internet Archive books are different - read more about them here.

Finding print books: in Discovery: 

If you find a book that DePauw owns in print, it will tell you if it's available (green check-mark!) and it will include a call number, which is basically the "address" where the book lives on the shelves.

Finding print books: in Discovery: 

With this call number, go to the stacks to look for the book. 

  • A-G - call numbers starting with one of these letters are in the Compact Shelving room on the lower level of Roy, in the room below the main staircase (across from the elevator)
  • H-K - H-J books are in the stacks on the second floor; the K books are in the Reading Room overlook on the second floor.
  • L-Z - books are in the stacks on the top floor of Roy.
  • Any books listed as "Oversize" are on the top floor of Roy in a separate section
  • Most Music Library books are on the lower level of the Music Library in the GCPA. 

The shelves have signs on the endcaps telling you what range of call numbers are on that shelf. The books go in order down one shelf, and then back toward you on the facing shelf. 

To read the call numbers, follow the rules below (taken from the U. of Louisville libraries):

  • First letters: one, two or three letters that are arranged alphabetically. So K comes before KF which comes before KFD.
  • First numbers: the first set of numbers are read as whole numbers. So K5 precedes K23 which precedes K452 which precedes K1298.
  • Second letters: are preceded by a decimal point and are arranged alphabetically. So .B comes before .L which comes before .M.
  • Second numbers: are treated as decimals. So .33 comes before .813 which comes before .9. 
  • There may be another letter number combo. If there is these numbers will be read as decimals as well.
  • Year: If there is a string of four digits at the end of the call number it usually signifies the year and should be read as a whole number.