It is possible to do a quick and dirty, one box keyword search of the contents of the MSU Libraries' web site, starting at the top left of the Libraries' home page. The results will be sorted into several categories to follow up on: articles from journals, books/media from our online catalog, databases, library research guides like this one, other. To do a more traditional search read on.
Use Books and Media (online catalog). You can search by author (last name, first name), title of book, author/title combination, keyword (topic words out of your own head), subject, call number. The best quality searches usually result from using the subject headings contained in the Library of Congress' List of Subject Headings, a set of fat, red books, found in Reference, First Floor, East Wing, in Z 695. Remember that names of places, names of people (last name, first name), or names of organizations may also be subject headings. Or, try a keyword search and when you find a book that looks particularly useful, click on the subject headings at the bottom of the catalog record to be taken to additional books on that topic.