Political Science 321: Books

Immigration Politics in the U.S.
Professor: Matt Tokeshi
Fall 2021

Locating Books in Sawyer Library Stacks

Run Time: 1:55

How the Library is Organized

Sawyer and Schow have a series of open shelving, also known as the stacks.  Having materials on open shelves, allows you to go directly to the shelves and find the item you want.  Open shelving also gives you the opportunity to browse the titles located near your item of interest. 

Materials in the libraries are organized by subjects, according to the Library of Congress classification system. This type of organization results in English and non-English titles on similar subjects being located in the same area.      

Searching and Browsing

Start in the library catalog

  • Do a few keyword searches in the library catalog
  • Once you find a relevant book, click on the Details link and look at the Subjects to find similar items
  • When you click on a subject, it will run a new search on that topic

Browse the shelves
Books are organized on the shelves according to topic, so once you find a promising source, you can:

  • use the Virtual Browse link in the library catalog to see other possibly relevant books around it
  • or go to the shelves to browse physically

Sawyer Library Stacks Directory

Call Number Floor
A-D Level 4
E-H Level 3
J-PF Level 2
PG-Z Level 1
DVDs, CDs Level 3

Note: This table is for the location of items in Sawyer stacks. There are other library locations (such as  Sawyer DVD, Sawyer Reserve, and Sawyer Reference) that also use this call number system. See library maps for further information.

How to Read a Call Number

Unlike public and school libraries, most academic libraries use the Library of Congress Classification scheme to arrange books on the shelves.

Sawyer call numbers

 

Read call numbers line by line:

  • First line: arranged alphabetically

  • Second line: read as a whole number

  • Third and fourth lines: arranged alphabetically, then numerically, with the number treated as a decimal (e.g., .A627 comes before .A65)

  • Last line: shelved chronologically.

Research Tip: Finding Ebooks

Finding Ebooks

You can find ebooks in the library catalog by doing a search for a topic, title, or author, and filtering your search results by:

  • Availability: Full Text Online and Open Access
  • Resource Type: Books

See a demo:

You can also search directly in ebook provider platforms.