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Scholarly Research Process Outline: Finding Book Materials

provides pathways to more comprehensive resources.

COVID-19 Considerations

During the COVID-19 disruption, our special Library Pandemic Resources page provides important additions to our online book collections. In some cases, the copyright restrictions for ebooks have been relaxed for this period of time. Start with this page for immediately available resources.

Searching for and within Books

The process: Searching for books may involve a series of searches, starting within our local catalog, moving through our I-Share consortial catalog, the larger Worldcat and HathiTrust catalogs, and finally the full text of books we may or may not own. (Within these systems there is access to many electronic full-text books.)

Interlibrary Loan is used to borrow materials that we do not own within I-Share.




To search our local book catalog  

Start by entering keywords, and consider expanding your search using subject headings. Use the resulting facets (for example, dates, languages, and subject headings) to refine your search results. ( videos: short video of searching and basics of searching and obtaining articles from our two major journal index tools and our book catalog.)


Expand your search into the I-Share consortium catalog, which covers many academic libraries within the state and provides 2-3-day book delivery, by selecting the "All I-Share Libraries" pull-down option under the search box. 

HINT: Limiting All I-Share results to "Library SXU" will only show paper materials, as online tools are not specifically associated with SXU.

HINT:  Book records can be saved using the "In" option within your My Account.  You will need to log in whenever you want to save or access your records.



CENTRAL INDEX: The new library platform includes the "Central Index" search database that includes a wide range of materials including: Book chapters, book reviews, historical newspapers, business and legal news, some reference book material (dictionary and encyclopedia entries), selected web resources (web pages, videos, and open access books and dissertations). Click the Expand check box at the top left of the results screen to include even more sources in your search.


If the I-Share catalog or Central Index will not provide your desired item, you can then submit an ILL request to borrow a particular item from another library. Start searching for additional books in thousands of other book catalogs using the Worldcat database. option to "All I-Share Libraries" to re-run the same search across the larger database. DO NOT start by selecting ILL unless you have already tried the I-Share search 

NOTE: Expect delays as you make ILL requests for many of these materials not owned by our network.

One additional free search tool to consider is Summon (from Princeton). You will see information within books and other materials...but you will not have links to the full text materials.


It is also possible to search deep into the full text of e-books using our E-Books page.

You can search thousands of digitized books by HathiTrust -- although only books published before 1923 will be available in full text owing to copyright restrictions. For the remainder of titles you discover, once you have identified important titles, repeat the search using author/title data in the search tools above.

You can also perform full-text searching into thousands of recently published books on the Title Preview platform. Once you have identified important titles, repeat the search using author/title data in the search tools above.


Best Book lists from many sources are found at Publishers Lunch Bookateria.



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