Skip to main content


Stony Brook University

Student Athlete Research Guide: Finding Books

This guide will offer our student athletes at Stony Brook University tips on research, time management, and many of the services available to them at SBU Libraries.

Finding Books

Use books or eBooks...

  • for detailed information on your topic
  • to put your topic in context
  • for historical information
  • for lists of references for further research
  • summaries of research to support an argument

There are 2 ways to search for these items in the library:

  1. Find items using the library online tools, which list all library materials.
  2. Find items by browsing the shelves; not very efficient, but sometimes lucky.

Google Books

Google Book Search

Search the Catalog

Catalog Quick Search

Find books, journals, DVDs, collections and more in our catalogs. | HELP

Find Books on the Shelves

Once you find the perfect book using the library catalog you will need to go find it on the shelf.

The library collection is organized by the Library of Congress classification system. This means that books on the same or similar subjects will be shelved together. For example, all of the books on nursing will be located together in the RT section of the Library collection.

Each book in the library has a unique call number. Call numbers are like addresses; they tell you where each book “lives” on the shelf.

Like most academic libraries, Stony Brook University Libraries use Library of Congress call numbers, which use a combination of letters and numbers to arrange materials by subject.

The call number can be broken down into separate segments that indicate specific information about the book.

Call numbers are read line by line. For example, the call number for The Moral Advantage: How to Succeed in Business by Doing the Right Thing is HF 5387 D366 2004:

Start with the top line, HF; items are arranged alphabetically by subject (HF Social Sciences. Commerce). Single letters precede double letters. (A, B, BF, C, D ... H, HF …)
Then read the second line, 5387; items are ordered using numbers. (1, 2, 3, 45, 500, 501, 5000, 5387… )
Then read the third line,  D366; items are ordered alphabetically. Items starting with the same letter are then arranged by decimal number. For D366 imagine D3.66 which would come before D4.
The fourth line, 2004, is the year of publication.

WorldCat

WorldCat is a catalog of most libraries in the U.S. & Canada and many from other countries. Find books, DVDs, web sites, musical scores, archival material and more.

There are two versions of WorldCat, the subscription version from First Search, which is below and which I recommend, and the free version.  If you find something you need while searching in WorldCat, and we don't own it, we can usually get it from another library. See InterLibrary Loan (ILL) to learn more. One great feature of the First Search version is that it automatically fills out your ILL request form.

Search for eBooks (Health Sciences)

Search our collections for books. | HELP

To see only eBook results, please select Available online under Availability in the "Refine your results" options on the left of your results page.

Don't Have It?

eBooks LibGuide

Having trouble finding an eBook? Check out SBU's eBook Online Research Guide!