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UCS 20201 Course Guide

Searching for Hiram College Library Materials

Search for books using Hiram College Library catalog.

Click here for the A-Z List of Databases

The A-Z list provides a summary description of each database in the collection.  

Individual Databases:


Databases by Subject:


Search for books at academic libraries across Ohio. Print books can be delivered right to the Hiram College Library and you can request them yourself without having to complete an interlibrary loan form. 

Search Strategies: Books & eBooks

Finding the right words to use when searching is the hardest and most time consuming aspect of library research. 

Visit the Search Tips page for more ways to improve your searches and find better results. 

Keyword Searching
This search looks for matching documents that contain one or more words specified by the you anywhere in the catalog. It is good for finding the largest possible return. However it can also result in materials that have nothing to do with your subject.

Subject Searching
A subject heading is a standardized word or phrase that describes a main idea in the book or article. Every item about that topic uses the same subject term. Think of this like a tag in social media (#RingIT #Terriers #HiramCollege).

In the library catalog, select "Subject" in the drop down box to the left of the search field, then type in the box: Baseball (or, more specialized terms, such as: planetary motionarmadillo diseasesetc.).

The "*" is a truncation symbol that will retrieve various forms of each word, for example, use regulat* to find results like regulation, regulatory, regulators. The "and" will require that both terms appear, but not necessarily in the same phrase.

Title or Author Searches
In the library catalog, choose "Title" to locate a specific work or, choose "Author" to find books written by a particular author.

Material Type (book, eBook, etc.)
Select a material type from the dropdown to limit to a Book (physical item), eBook (digital item), musical recording, map, and more. 


Finding a Physical Book

Finding an eBook

Finding Your Book

Understanding Search Results:

Your search of the online catalog of Books, CDs, and DVDs in the Hiram College Library has led you to the following.  How do you find it on the shelf? How do you know if it is an eBook or a print book?

Print book example:
Author Koritansky, John C.
Title Alexis de Tocqueville and the new science of politics : an interpretation of Democracy in America / John C.Koritansky.
Imprint Durham, N.C. : Carolina Academic Press, c2010.

Permanent Link

 HIRAM Main Collection 320.1 Toc-K 2010    AVAILABLE


eBook example:

You need 3 pieces of information to find an item here. 
  1. The location tells you which floor in the building or whether it is an eBook. 
  2. The call number tells you where on the floor (in this case it is like a street address) or what type of eBook it is. Click "View online" to read an eBook.
  3. The status tells you if it should be on the shelf or not or whether it is an online book. Most eBooks have unlimited access and can be read by multiple users at a time. 

eBooks provided by the OhioLINK and OPAL consortia look a little bit different, but you should always click "View online" to read them.

Dewey Decimal Classification

The main Dewey Decimal classes are:

000 Generalities 
100 Philosophy and psychology 
200 Religion 
300 Social Sciences 
400 Language 
500 Natural sciences and mathematics 
600 Technology (Applied sciences) 
700 The arts (fine and decorative) 
800 Literature and rhetoric 
900 Geography and history

Each class is further subdivided at the hundred divisions and the thousand sections. Numbers are placed after a decimal point to further identify material more specifically by subject.

The following table below will help with the most frequent locations. 

On every entry in the Hiram College Library catalog you will find a section below the Title that looks like this:

LOCATION entry tells you where the item is located physically in the building.

Table of Locations 

Location Call Number Arranged by Floor
Main Collection 0 through 799.99999999 Dewey Call Number 2nd floor
Main Collection 800 through 999.999999 Dewey Call Number 3rd floor
Fiction Call numbers start with "F" Alphabetically by Author 4th floor (Clock Tower)
Music Scores All call numbers Dewey Call Number 2nd floor
CD Collection Call numbers start with musical genre Genre then composer or artist Lower Level Chamberlain Room
Film Collection 0 through 999.9999999 Dewey Call Number Lower Level Chamberlain Room
Film Collection Call numbers start with "Feature Film" Alphabetically by Title Lower Level Chamberlain Room
Juvenile Nonfiction  0 through 999.9999999 Dewey Call Number 2nd floor
Juvenile Fiction Call numbers start with "JF" Alphabetically by Author 2nd floor
Picture Books Call numbers start with "PB" Alphabetically by Author 2nd floor
Board Books Call numbers start with "BB" Alphabetically by Author 2nd floor
Oversize Call numbers start with a "Q" Dewey Call Number 2nd floor
Folio Call numbers start with "Folio" Dewey Call Number 2nd floor
Government Documents Call numbers start with an abbreviation of the agency that produced the document SuDocs system  3rd floor


The following table below will help with the most frequent locations. 

On every entry in the Hiram College Library catalog you will find a section below the Title that looks like this:

STATUS entry tells you if it is on the shelf or not and if not, why.

Table of Statuses

Status Meaning
Available Should be on Shelf. If you cannot find the item, please ask us!
Due (followed by a date) Checked out and is due back on date given. You may borrow a copy through OhioLINK, if a copy is available.
Due (followed by a date) Off Campus Checked out to an OhioLINK borrower and due on the date given. You may borrow a copy through OhioLINK, if a copy is available.
New Book Shelf May be found on the New Book Shelf on the main floor and may be checked out. 

Book cannot be found.  You may borrow a copy through OhioLINK, if a copy is available.

In Repair Book is damaged and waiting to be repaired.  You may borrow a copy through OhioLINK, if a copy is available.
Lib Use Only Should be on the shelf. May not be checked out, but may be used in the library.
Use Online An Internet resource that you may use online.  Check the full record for the link to the item or click "View Online."
In Process The book has been ordered. It may not have arrived yet, or it may be waiting for its labels and stickers before it goes on the shelf. If you have an urgent need for a title "In Process," contact with the book's full title and author.

What if the book is checked out?
If a book is checked out, the Library Catalog will indicate when it will be returned. You then have three options:

  1. You can wait till the book gets returned to the shelf to check it out. Please be aware that the date that it lists as the return date is dependent upon the current borrower bringing it back. If that person forgets the return date could slide considerably.
  2. You can request the book through OhioLink or Search Ohio as this may result in a quicker delivery time than waiting for the return of the current book.
  3. You can place the book on hold in the Hiram Library catalog by clicking the "Request" button below the item record.

What if the book has a link instead of a call number?
The library has some items which which will not be on the shelves but instead available directly by clicking on them. Also Hiram College Library is a Federal Depository Library and may have resources from the Federal Government that are electronic. If you see “Electronic Resource” or "View Online" instead of a call number, click on the title to open the record and then click the link to view the item online.

What if the Library Catalog does not list the book I need?
If the Hiram College Library does not have the book you need, please check through the OhioLink Catalog and/or SearchOhio. Both of these sources can have the titles you need and can be requested simply and easily through the catalog itself. If all else fails you can request the title by using the Inter Library Loan Form. You may also request the book be purchased for the library by emailing the librarians at

OhioLINK and SearchOhio

By using OhioLINK and SearchOhio, you can request books from academic and public libraries across the state of Ohio and have them sent right here to Hiram at no cost to you! This video will show you how to use those services.

Course Reserves

Sometimes, professors put required textbooks as well as other course materials on course reserve. These items typically have a two hour checkout period to allow lots of students access to them.

To see what materials a professor has placed on reserve, visit the Ask Here Desk or search the library catalog.

A valid Hiram ID is all that is needed to check out course reserves.

Why am I seeing all of these Government Documents?

Hiram College Library is a Federal Depository Library Program Member. This means that we preserve government documents for students, faculty, and the community to access. Sometimes, depending on your search result, you might find that the Government Documents are cluttering your search results. To fix that, use the collections limiter. 

You can learn more about our Government Documents Collection on our Guide

Collection Limiter in Book Search:
Select the Collection limiter to reduce your results to a particular part of the library, such as the film collection, juvenile collection, or government documents. Since the Government Documents collection is so large, it can sometimes overwhelm your results. Use the "All Collections Except Gov Docs" limiter to remove them from your search.