Principles of Academic Success: Find Books and Videos

Library handout for Principles of Academic Success

Library Catalog

Search the library catalog in order to find books available at Abington Library or the ASU-Searcy Library Media Center. You can search for books by title, author, keyword, or subject.

Keywords Searching

  • Keywords are terms that assist you in describing your topic. These are the search terms that you will use in order to find books and articles concerning your topic.
  • Keep your searches simple.  Try to avoid using search strategies such as "high school football players who use steroids".  Instead, use high school AND football AND steroids.  Use nouns and verbs to describe your topic simply.
  • For example, if your topic was drugs and sports, some the additional keywords you might use could be steroids, stimulants, dope, high school sports, college sports, or professional sports.

Boolean Searching

  • Terms such AND, OR, and NOT are Boolean operators.  They can help you organize your search terms and locate better results. The Operators need to be capitalized in order to work properly.
  • And is used to connect two terms:  sports AND college
  • NOT is used to exclude terms: sports NOT college
  • OR is used to combine terms:  steroids OR drugs

Where Is It Located?

  • Circulating books are loacated on the 2nd Floor
  • Reference books are located on the 1st Floor
  • Print magazines and journals are located on the 1st floor
  • Audio Visual materials are located in the technical services area on the 1st floor.
  • New books are located on the 1st floor
  • Arkansas Reference is located on the 2nd floor in the Special Collections room (diagonally across from the elevator)


Anatomy of a Call Number

We use the Library of Congress system for organizing our materials. Many research and academic libraries use this system, so it is transferable in many cases from one academic library to another. The following is an anatomy of a call number:


When looking for an item on the shelf, it is best to break the call number down line by line, starting from the top. 

  • GT <--- These letters indicate the subject of the item.  There are posters in both libraries displaying Library of Congress letters and their subject areas.  Here, GT indicated that the subject of this book is Manners and Customs.
  • 2490 <--- The second line of the call number is called the classification, and should be read as a whole number: two thousand four hundred and ninety.  In other words, GT 1900 would come before GT 2490.
  • .A45 <--- This line generally refers to the author of a work, and is a combination of letters and numbers.  Here, you will need to look at each letter and number individually in order to determine the location of the book.  For example, .A45 would come before .A239, because the 4 is higher than the 2.
  • 2007 <--- The final line is the publication date, which can be useful if you are looking for current information.  This line is read as a whole number:  1998 would come before 2007

For the basic Library of Congress Classification Outline, go to