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“There is fantastic information in books. Often when I do a search, what is in a book is miles ahead of what I find on a Web site.” -Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google
Quoted in Nunberg, Geoffrey. “Google’s Book Search: A Disaster for Scholars. The Chronicle Review. The Chronicle of Higher Education. 31 Aug. 2009. Web. 24 Aug. 2010.
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 ("death penalty")
- Truncation – use ? after the root of a word to find all its variants (president? finds president, presidents, presidential...)
- Browse the Subject(s) field in records to find the right words for searches. (Example: Try doing a keyword search for "death penalty," then look at the subject(s) field in several records. You’ll see that the subject term is "Capital punishment." 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.
Google has agreements with some libraries to scan their collections. Google Books allows you to search the full text of these scanned books, but if the book is under copyright you will not be able to see the full text. If you find something interesting via Google Books, search the library catalog to see if it is available to you via the Marx Library or your public library.