CHEM 101: Concepts of Chemistry: Finding Books

Concepts of Chemistry: Sarah Goh, Amy Gehring, Jenna MacIntire, B Thuronyi

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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.


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

  • Last line: shelved chronologically.

Keyword searching

Search library catalog for books by combining keywords such as:

  • Coordination chemistry
  • Metal complex*
  • Coordination complex*
  • Inorganic chemistry
  • Metal compound*
  • Coordination compounds
  • Transition metal*

When you find a relevant item, you will initially see the location and the call number.  Click the title and the DETAILS tab to view the complete library record.  Scroll down to see SUBJECT HEADINGS assigned to the item of interest.  SUBJECT HEADINGS link together like items.  Click a subject heading to find related materials.

Books are organized on the shelves according to topic, so once you find a promising source, write down its call number and then go to the shelves and look at the books around it for related works.

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Research Tip: Borrow It

Borrow It!

If we don't own a book, or if our copy is checked out, you can borrow a copy from another library. Just search for the book in Williams WorldCat, and then choose "Request Item" to borrow it.

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