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CCP/FDLA/WRIT off-campus

Provides resources and support to instructors and students taking Hiram courses off-campus.

Finding Books: An Overview

There are multiple ways to get books via the Hiram College Library

Hiram College Library Catalog:

  • eBooks (Available using your Hiram user ID and password.)
  • Physical books (Available by visiting the physical library. We do not ship books directly to students.)

OhioLINK includes the collections of all academic libraries in Ohio. Use their catalog to search for physical and electronic books.

  • OhioLINK eBooks are available via the eBook Center. Use your library barcode to access these items.
  • Physical books can be sent to the Hiram College Library for pickup, or you can request to have them sent to the OhioLINK library closest to you. (Note that you must have your Hiram College ID to pick up books at another OhioLINK library.)
  • OhioLINK eJournals are available via the Electronic Journal Center. Use your library barcode to access these items.

SearchOhio includes the collections of many Ohio public libraries. Search their catalog to request physical books only. You may opt to have the books delivered to the Hiram College Library. Or, if you have a public library card at a SearchOhio library, use that card to have the books sent to your public library. 

Search the Hiram College Library Catalog

The Library Catalog includes records for books, eBooks, Audio/Visual sources, and other materials that are held in the Hiram College Library. In order to find articles from databases we recommend that you initially try Academic Search Complete. For additional databases use the A to Z Databases & Electronic Resources for articles.

Go Find 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

Choosing Search Terms: Keywords vs Subject

Subject headings describe the content of each item in a database. Use these headings to find relevant items on the same topic.  Searching by subject headings (a.k.a. descriptors) is the most precise way to search article databases or the library's catalog for books.

It is not easy to guess which subject headings are used in a given database. For example, the phone book's Yellow Pages use subject headings. If you look for "Movie Theatres" you will find nothing, as they are listed under the subject heading "Theatres - Movies."

Keyword searching is how you typically search web search engines.  Think of important words or phrases and type them in to get results.

Here are some key points about each type of search:

  • natural language words describing your topic - good to start with
  • pre-defined "controlled vocabulary" words used to describe the content of each item (book, journal article) in a database
  • more flexible to search by - can combine together in many ways
  • less flexible to search by - need to know the exact controlled vocabulary term
  • database looks for keywords anywhere in the record - not necessarily connected together
  • database looks for subjects only in the subject heading or descriptor field, where the most relevant words appear
  • may yield too many or too few results
  • if too many results - also uses subheadings to focus on one aspect of the broader subject
  • may yield many irrelevant results
  • results usually very relevant to the topic

When you search a database and do not get the results you expect, Ask Us for advice.

Finding a Physical Book

Finding an eBook