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LG 480: Senior Seminar: SOUTHcat

A brief guide to English and foreign language resources for students in the foreign languages capstone course at the University of South Alabama


  • Search authors and titles in non-Latin alphabet languages using standard library transliteration schemes.

Finding Books

To find books and government documents in USA Libraries' collections, use SOUTHcat: USA Libraries' Catalog.

  • Catalog tips and tricks:
    • Keyword searches – use quotation marks to hold phrases together ("War on Drugs")
    • Truncation – use ? after the root of a word to find all its variants (educat? finds educate, educating, education, etc.)
    • Browse the Subject(s) field in records to find the right words for searches. (Example: Try doing a keyword search for "marriage customs," then look at the subject(s) field in several records. You’ll see that the subject term is "Marriage customs and rites." Click the subject heading to find more records with this subject.)
  • Revise and refine your searches.
  • Watch for repeating call numbers and browse stacks in that area.
  • Pay attention to the Location and Status fields. You will need this information to locate the item in the library.

To find books in other libraries, use Worldcat.

Interlibrary Loan

If USA does not own a book or journal article you need, we can likely obtain it for you from another library. Allow a minimum of 10 working days, but titles held by libraries in Alabama may arrive faster. No charge is passed on to you for these in-state items. Charges made by out-of-state libraries will be billed to your account. The ILL request forms are available from a link on the library homepage. The first time you use ILL you will need to register.

As undergraduate students, you can have 5 ILL requests in process at any time. Call the ILL office at 460-7034 or email for more information.

ILL is within the reference offices (room 253) on the 2nd floor north.

Subscription E-Books

The USA Libraries subscribe to several subscription e-book collections. These collections tend to focus on a specific discipline or field of study in their coverage.

Search Google Books

Part of Google's library-scanning project. Only books in the public domain are shown in full text. Others may have just a citation or show selected pages from the book. Remember, you can check SOUTHcat to see if we have a book you find in Google Books if the full text is not available.

Google Book Search