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Research Process: Books


Book sources will help you build a broad understanding of your topic. Books are a great place to go for background information, and thus are often a great starting point for research and for defining your topic.

Lakeland Library Catalog

Search the Lakeland Library Catalog for books held in the Library's collection:



Some tips for searching the Library catalog:

  • Use a Keyword search to find books about a certain topic.
  • Use a Title search to find a specific book when you have the title.
  • Use the Author search to find books written by a certain author.
  • Click the Subjects of useful titles to find books on related subjects.
  • Once you locate a book, browse the library shelves around it to find additional materials.

OhioLINK Catalog

Can't find a book on your topic in our library? Search the OhioLINK catalog for books in academic libraries throughout Ohio.


About Call Numbers

Libraries use classification systems to organize the books on the shelves. A classification system uses letters and/or numbers (call numbers) to arrange the books so that books on the same topic are together. This arrangement results in "serendipitous browsing:" you find one book in the catalog, go to the shelf, and, an even better book is sitting right next to it. Lakeland Library uses the Library of Congress Classification System.

Here is some information on how to read a call number:

Image source:

Finding a Book By Call Number

Call numbers are like finger prints - no two items in Lakeland's library have the same call number. To find something on the shelf, take the following steps:

  1. Locate the item in the Lakeland Library Catalog.
  2. On the Record Screen, the first table displays the author, title and publishing information (citation).
    Author Ambrose, Stephen E
    Title Undaunted courage : Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the opening of the American West / Stephen E. Ambrose
    Publish info

    New York : Simon & Schuster, 1996

  3. The next set of boxes contains the information needed to find the book on the shelf.
    • Location - "Circulating Collection" means it checks out; "Reference Collection" means it must be used it in the library, but can be photocopied if necessary.
    • Call# is the number needed to find the book on the shelf. Write it down!
    • Status - "Available" means it is on the shelf; "Due Date" means is it checked out to someone else. Even if the "Due Date" has passed, it has still not been returned.
     F592.7 .A49 AVAILABLE
  4. Call Numbers are always read:
    • Left to Right
    • From A to Z
    • From 0 to 9999
  5. Find the right collection (Circulating or Reference)
  6. On the end of each stack (row of shelves) are signs that indicate the range of call numbers in that row. Locate the correct stack by using the letters that start the call number. In the case above, find the stack with F on the end.
  7. Next, find the number. In the case above, find the 500s, then 592, then 592.7. If you think of call numbers as money – you have $592, not $59 and if you find $5927, you've gone too far.
  8. Keep going alphabetically and numerically until you find an item with a number on the spine that matches the one you wrote down.

Now that you know how call numbers work, click here try this interactive game. Put the books in the right order on the shelf.

Lakeland Community College Library | 7700 Clocktower Dr. Kirtland, OH, 44094 | 440-525-7425 | myLakeland