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PHIL 1320: Ethics and Society: Books

This guide was created for Jonathan Lollar's PHIL 1320 class.

Introduction

Books are a great source for background information, big themes, and analysis of a large topic. They are not such a great option for up-to-date statistics or cutting edge research because of the amount of time they take to publish.

If you find a book that looks like it might be useful, look at the table of contents and index and try to find the topic keywords you identified. If you can't find your keywords, the book is probably not going to be helpful for your research. If the keywords are in certain chapters, you can identify which sections you'll need to read instead of wasting your time on the whole book.

In the library catalog, you will find everything the library owns—print books, ebooks, DVDs, streaming audio and video, models, kits, and more.

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Search for Books & More in the Library:

Where in the library is my book?

After you've found a book in the catalog, you'll need to find it on the shelf. Each book has a Library of Congress call number that identifies where exactly it's located.

Library of Congress call numbers should be read one line at a time as follows:

Example of a complete call number, DA 36 .A55:

Line 1   DA
Line 2   36
Line 3   .A55

 

1. First, look at Line 1:

Books are arranged in alphabetical order, by the letters on the first line of the call number.

Example: first come all the D call numbers, then all the DA call numbers, then DB, etc.

An illustration showing three groups of books. The first groups all have the letter D on the spine. The second group have the letters DA on the spine. The third group have the letters DB on the spine.

2. Next, look at Line 2:

Within the DA call numbers, books are arranged in number order.

The numbers are arranged in numerical from low to high.

Example:

An illustration of five books standing in a line. The spines read, in order, DA 1, DA 2, DA 22, DA 36, and DA 38.

3. Then look at Line 3:

Line 3 of the call number has a letter and a number. The letters are in alphabetical order. Then read the numbers—but BEWARE!

The numbers are not whole numbers, they are DECIMAL numbers.

Example: A55 is read as A .55—this is why A55 comes before A6 (A .55, A .6, A .65, etc.)

An illustration showing six books standing in a line. The spines read, in order, DA 36 A5, DA 36 A55, DA 36 A6, DA 36 B21, DA 36 B212.