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How do I search the library catalog for books?

Learn how to find physical books and ebooks

Need Help?

Ask a Librarian @
Betty Sue Jessup Library

501 College Drive
Charlottesville, VA 22902

Search QuickSearch for Books

Step 1:

Start on the library's homepage, and look for the "Find Books" box.

library homepage find books search box

Step 2:

Click the keyword drop-down menu, and decide which search is best to use. A keyword search will broaden your results, while a subject search will give you narrowed, more targeted results.

  • Keyword - This searches for the word(s) in the entire catalog record. The word(s) could appear in the summary of the book or in a chapter title, as well as in the title of the book or the subject terms. For this reason, you will get more results.
  • Author - Select this option to search for books by the author's name.  
  • Title - Select this to option to only search for the word(s) in the title of the books.
  • Subject - Librarians tag every book with subject terms that describe what the book is about. Select this option to limit your search to just these terms. For example, the book The Betrayal: The 1919 World Series and the Birth of Modern Baseball has these subject terms:
    example of subjects search term results


Step 3:

Review your results. You will see a mixture of physical books (labeled Circulating Collection) and ebooks.  Look in the availability section to note if it's a physical item or one you can access online.

physical and ebook results


Step 4:

Decide what you're interested in and then follow these instructions:

Can't find what you're looking for?  



Want to limit your search to just physical books? After searching the catalog and getting a list of results, click "On Shelf" to filter to just the physical books on the library's shelves.

use on shelf link to limit search to physical books