It is possible to do a quick and dirty, one box keyword search of the MSU Libraries' resources using the general search box on the left side near the top of the 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 more traditional searches, read on.
In Books and Media, which is used to find physical, paper/cloth bound books and journals, microforms, physical media (CDs, DVDs), or electronic items that have been cataloged individually, click on the down area on the right side of the form where it says "Catalog." Choose the type of search you want to do. In the box to the right put in your search terms. Enter author's name either last, first or first last. Omit initial articles in book titles; include them as they occur within the book title. To search by L.C. subject heading, it may be better to use the Browse Alphabetically by Subject lower down in the list than Catalog: Subject, because those results will show the surrounding subject headings and the number of hits retrieved. Advanced search allows for combination of more than one search aspect, such as author and title, or various keywords. After you have done your search, notice that you can refine your results by using the facets along the left side of the page.
Use the E Books and Journals link, below the general search box, to find journals in electronic form or individual electronic books that we have acquired in E book packages, which may not have individual records in Books and Media. You may need to check both Books and Media and E Books and Journals to find your electronic book.
Many professors place material on reserve for their classes to read. Look up the material you need using the online catalog and request the items at the Circulation Desk in the lobby on the first floor.
The Library of Congress Subject Headings contains the official subject headings used in Books and Media. Ask at the Reference Desk, 1 East to be shown where this set of red books is located in our Reference Collection at Z 695... or use it online.
In order to find items on the shelves, you need both the call number and the Library location. Call numbers begin with one or two letters indicative of the broad subject matter, followed by a whole number (may be from 1-9999), a period, and after the period, some more letters In alphabetical order) and numbers, and, perhaps, a year. The period after the whole number is a decimal point. After the decimal point, the numbers are in decimal order. The Library location will be either Main or the name of a branch library, inside the Main Library building or in another building. The catalog records display whether the items are available or checked out.
We have many lesser used works in Remote Storage. These can be brought to the Circulation Desk in the Main Library lobby to check out by following the prompts in the catalog entries near the call number, such as "Get This."
Except for Murray and Hong Special Collections, we have an open stack library. We have compact shelving in many parts of our Main Library building. If it does not function correctly or if you can not find the book you need on the shelves, please find a red help phone, usually located near an elevator, or go to the Circulation Desk in the Lobby for assistance. Circulation staff answer the red help phones. Here are maps, online, of each floor of the Main Library (right side of page).