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Information Literacy, Level Two

Differences between books, journals and magazines

Books, magazines, and journal are all resources you can retrieve when researching a topic from our library's website. You can search books and articles by author, title, or subject. There are, however, important differences between these types of sources.

Books are good to use when you are researching something that has happened further in the past, or if you want broader overviews of a topic. When you search for books, you will want to use broader terms in your search statement.

  • Ex. Obama AND presidency

Journals and Magazines usually contain more recent coverage of topics and events, and have a more specific focus than books. When you search magazines and journals, you are searching all of the articles that appear in a given periodical. You can use more specific keywords to retrieve results.

  • Ex. Obama AND immigration AND reform

Books and eBooks

There are two types of books available to you from the library. Print books are located on all floors and are organized according to the Dewey Decimal System. eBooks are electronic books and they are to be read on a computer screen. Numerous eBooks are located in our reference databases and include the reference sources discussed on the Reference Sources tab. Other eBooks are located in our EBSCO eBook Collection and Ebook Central databases. When you search our Books & More tab, unless you are doing an advanced search and limiting your results to the format of print or eBooks, you will be searching multiple formats of the resources available to you.

Accessing eBooks

When searching for a book from the OneSearch or Books & More tabs, eBooks will be labeled as such in the results list. To access an eBook you first need to click on the title or the "Find Full Text" link in OneSearch, or the "View eBook" link from the Books & More tab.

eBook Listing in OneSearch:


eBook Listing from a Books & More Search:

View Ebook button in Books and More tool


Call Numbers and the Dewey Decimal System

The Dewey Decimal Classification System is a system used to organize books on the shelf. Each book is assigned a distinctive call number reflecting its subject classification.

There are 10 main classes or subject areas in the Dewey system:

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

How can the Dewey Decimal System help you find information?

When you look for a book in our collection, that's not an eBook, you will be given a call number for that book. A call number is like the address for a book since it helps you locate it on the shelf. One of the great things about the Dewey Decimal System is that once you find a book on a topic you are researching, if you look to the left and the right on the same shelf, similar books covering that topic will be located there.

A typical call number looks like the below and is located on the spines of books:

Image of Dewey call number

Here are what call numbers look like after doing a search from our Books & More tab:

Books and More record with call number highlighted


The 700s represent fine arts and 600s represent technology. The first digit in each three-digit number represents the main class.  See below for how the same topic can relate to different Dewey classes, depending on the specific subject area.

Weaving as technology


600 = technology
670 = manufacturing
677 = textiles
Weaving as art 736 700 = arts
740 = decorative arts
746 = textile arts

Searching for authors in the catalog

The Books & More tab is the one to use to search for the books and eBooks available to you. There are ways to limit your search by author, title or subject from a drop down box (see below). These distinctions are important when searching for works by, or about, authors.

When searching for works concerning a specific author you will need to change what you search by depending if the piece is about the author or is written by the author.  If you want works about an author search using Subject, since the author is the subject of the work.  If you want works by the author, use Author to limit your search.

Books and More search with Keyword selected