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Books - Using the Library Catalog & Finding Books and eBooks

Finding Print Books in the Library

Start your search

Search by title, author (use the format of last name, first name), subject or keyword. 

If you’re looking for books on a topic, look by keyword. (see tips below for help)


Search Tips:

  • Use different words and phrases that have a similar meaning, like “capital punishment” and “death penalty”
  • Pay attention to the number of results. Try to get a manageable number of results that you can skim through -- about 60 results.
    • Too few books in your search results? Go broader on your subject and look at “prison systems” 
    • Too many books in your results? Search for something more specific like “Lethal Injection” or “death row inmates” 
  • Use Filter your results left-hand column to narrow results:
    • For Print books only, select Available in the Library
    • Explore the other options in the column, like date, publication type, and subject

Get the information you need to find the book

We use call numbers to organize the books on our shelves (we use the Library of Congress (LC or LOC) system).

Write the call number down. You will need it to locate the book in the library.

The location will tell you what area of the library the book is located in: undefined

  • Norco Main Stack will be located on the main shelves in the back of the library and can be checked out.
  • Norco Reserve is located behind the Circulation (front) desk and generally has a two-hour use in the library.
  • Norco Reference books are on shelves with blue cards and cannot be checked out or removed from the library.

If you aren’t sure, ask us, and we’ll gladly help.


image of shelves in library where books are located

Find Your book in the Library

Now that you have a call number and the location of your book, you’ll be able to locate your book. 

For Main Stack and Reference books, head to the location the catalog indicated. You’ll see cards on the shelves which contain a range of call numbers. Head to the shelves containing the call number you are looking for.

For example, PZ7.R79835 Har 1998 would be located on these shelves.







Let’s break down what this looks like:

Read the first line in alphabetical order:

A, B, BF, C, D, DR, E… J, K, KE, KF… M, N…

Read the second line as a whole number

1, 2, 3, 4… 22, 23, 24… 100, 200, 240, 300…

The third line is a combination of letter and numbers. Read the letter alphabetically and read the number like a decimal.

The last set of numbers is the year published, and they are organized in order.

A good rule of thumb is to look for the section on the shelves that contain the first set of letters, then within that section, look for the next set of numbers, followed by the letter/number combination.