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WHAT IF I NEED A PRINTED BOOK?
To find books written about a specific person, do a Subject Search in OSCAR (the library's catalog) and type the person's name (last name first).
If you are looking for books about a topic (not a person), do an Advanced Search in OSCAR. If the first terms you type do not give you the results you want, try typing in various ways of describing your topic. Then, once you find some books that look like what you want, click on the Subject links that appear in the full records for those books, and you will probably find even more books on the same topic. (For example, if you type "black American dancers," you will find a few books, but clicking on the Subject heading "African American dancers" will reveal additional books to choose from.)
While the library is closed because of the shelter-in-place order, its printed books are available for borrowing in the following ways:
Curbside Pick-Up Service
Books and other physical materials in its collection can be requested for pick-up outside the entrance to the library. Click the link to learn complete details of this service.
Residential/Home Delivery Service
For people who do not live near the university or who are otherwise unable to use the curbside pick-up service, the library is offering residential/home delivery of printed books and other physical materials in its collection, within the continental U.S. and Hawaii. Click the link to learn complete details of this service.
If you need only one chapter, or a small number of pages, within a printed book, library staff can scan those pages and send them to you as a PDF attachment to an e-mail message, usually within one or two days. This is much faster than waiting for the entire book to arrive in the mail. Because of copyright restrictions, it is not possible to copy an entire book in this way. Click the link to learn how to request this service.
In addition, there are a couple of online sources in which you may be able to find a digitized copy:
The Internet Archive is a non-profit organization that provides permanent access online to 1.4 million digitized copies of printed books from around the world and from all time periods. Works in the public domain (i.e., published before 1926) are readily available to all, while works still under copyright may be "checked out" and read by one person at a time, similar to one person at a time borrowing a printed copy from a library. The Internet Archive may not have digitized every book you are looking for, but it is definitely worth looking there for any books you need that exist otherwise only printed on paper.
Drawn from the collections of several major research libraries, this web site contains complete scanned copies of millions of books in their collections. Those that are out of copyright (i.e., published before 1926) are freely available to be read online.