Locating a Print Book

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Welcome to this Information and Library Services tutorial locating a print book using the online library catalog, USMAI. This tutorial will take approximately four minutes to view.

catalogUSMAI provides access to:

  • the collections of all 16 of the University System of Maryland and Affiliated Institutions libraries
  • includes 4 million print books on a wide variety of topics
  • as well as millions of other types of resources.

To locate a print book you will need to access the library catalog and you can click on the link available from the library home page (http://www.umuc.edu/library).

After clicking on the link you will be directed to an intermediary page where you conduct a words anywhere search, which is the same as a keyword search, which means that the words can be located anywhere in the record. This is an inexact search and you will often locate results that are not relevant. 

You can instead click on the Advanced Search link which provides for more focused searching as it allows you to add additional terms to help focus your search. This will help you to retrieve more relevant results.

For example, you are interested in locating literary criticism about John Cheever and his works.

To locate print books on John Cheever and criticism, you will change the search for words in pull-down menu on the left to subject, which means you are looking for resources about John Cheever and not written by him.

You will enter his name and the usual naming convention is last name, first name.

You will then do the same thing for the next search box, again changing search for words in pull-down menu on the left to subject

And then enter the term criticism. The AND specifies that both terms have to be included.

To further refine your results you can select book as the format.

And English as the language, again changing these pull-down menus. Then, click on the search button.

As you look down through your results list you find that criticism is a subject, which means that this is the focus of a particular book. In addition, you see the location of specific libraries that own this title as part of their holdings including the McKeldin Library at the University of Maryland-College Park.

Open the full record by clicking on the title link to find out more about a particular title, including all the elements that you will need for the citation (e.g., author, title, publication information) as well subject terms, and holdings and location information.

When you click on the availability link for a particular library location you will be directed to the location area, call number, and whether it is on the shelf.  You notice that the McKeldin Library (library) at University of Maryland-College Park has the example book available in the stacks (collections) and the call number is included. In addition, under status/due date you see that this book is available for check-out as it is located on the shelf.

To locate this book, according to the floor plan of the McKeldin Library, books that have a call number beginning with PS, such as this title, are located on the 7th floor. Once you have located the book be sure to look around in that area. You may also find other books about the particular author shelved in the same proximity.

To check out this book, please take it to the Circulation Desk of the library where you have obtained it. You will need your UMUC 14-digit library barcode and photo identification such as your driver’s license.

To obtain your UMUC library barcode log in to MyUMUC and click on the Student Portal, then MyInfo and ID Card/Library Barcode

If you then used information obtained from the example book in your research project, you will need to cite the information using the Modern Language Association (MLA) citation style.

The first element in a MLA citation is the author which is last name, first name middle name or middle initial. In our example book it is Collins, Robert. G. Next is the book title, which is italicized. Again, Critical Essays on John Cheever.

The next elements are publisher city: publisher, publication date. For our example book it will be Boston: G.K. Hall, 1982. MLA also wants to designate whether it is a print or Web version. As this is a print book you will add Print, with a capital P and a period at the end.

Here is how the full MLA citation looks:

Collins, Robert G. Critical Essays on John Cheever.
Boston, G.K. Hall, 1982. Print.

The second and any subsequent lines will be indented 5 spaces.

If you are searching for a particular author you can search the catalog again by selecting search for words in to author.

And enter the name last name, first name: cheever, john.

You can again limit to format-book and language-English and click on the search button.

To locate a particular title change the search for words in field to title

And enter the title. In order to be more precise, place quotation marks around the title to designate it as a phrase. If a title begins with The, A, An you do not need to include these words. 

To help further focus the search you can also include the author’s name and connect the two search boxes using the AND and click on the search button.

To learn more about locating a print book using the online catalog as well as other searching tips and techniques please visit our library Web site (http://www.umuc.edu/library). You can contact a librarian 24/7 for help with any research need.

Thank you for viewing this tutorial.