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Library Staff Resources: Finding Books

BC3 Library Catalog

Books are an excellent source for a variety of information types:

  • General to in-depth coverage of a topic
  • Historical to current information
  • Novice to expert levels of detail and complexity

Help Using the BC3 Library Catalog

Searching by keyword

Searching by author or title

Searching by subject

What do those numbers mean?

Navigating the Collections

Here at the Heaton Family Learning Commons, we have our fiction and non-fiction split by floors: fiction is on the upper level and nonfiction is on the lower level.

  • Fiction books can be found easily; all you need is the author’s last name 
  • Non-fiction books use Dewey call numbers to organize books by subject

Other collections in the Heaton

  • New Books - upper level near the stairs and printer
  • Children's collection - lower level behind the stairs
  • Reference collection - shelved along the walls surrounding the nonfiction section, lower level
  • Oversize collection - these are extra large books shelved at the end of the nonfiction collection shelves
  • Biographies - these are split between older biographies, which are shelved alphabetically in the 92 section, and newer biographies, which are classified with Dewey within their subject areas

Order in the Library 

  • Order in the Library is a game you can play to become more familiar with finding books with Dewey.

Quick Guide to Dewey

Say you have to write a paper on ethics and the call number for the book titled Problems in Ethics is 170 M965p. If you are not familiar with DDC, this number looks confusing. However, it is following a system that is classified by numbers and letters.The 170 represents the book's subject. 170 falls within the 100s area, putting it in the Philosophy and Psychology category. The M965p portion of the call number refers to the author and book title, giving the book a unique identifier.

See below for examples of Dewey call number subject areas:

  • 000s Generalities
  • 100s Philosophy and psychology
  • 200s Religion
  • 300s Social Sciences
  • 400s Language
  • 500s Natural sciences and mathematics
  • 600s Technology and applied sciences (including medicine)
  • 700s Arts
  • 800s Literature
  • 900s Geography and history

Please see the "Finding a Book" section above for usage of the online public access catalog to find your books' call numbers.


eBook Databases

Not everything is digitized! But we do have many ebooks (electronic books). They are all listed in the BC3 Library Catalog with links to the database where they can be found.

BC3 Library Catalog

Or you can search the ebook databases individually.

Book Reviews

New York Times

EBSCOhost Academic Search Premier




Does the BC3 Library have textbooks?

The BC3 Library maintains a small collection of textbooks. In general, we do not purchase textbooks, but try to obtain as many as we can through donations from the publisher, BC3 Academic Divisions, and BC3 faculty. These are shelved behind the upper level circulation desk. Here is a list of the current textbooks available at the library.

Finding Books Beyond the BC3 Library

There are numerous sources for finding books beyond the BC3 Library’s Catalog and databases. These include other library catalogs, Google books, vendor databases, and open access books. Most of these resources provide a means to identify books that you want, but usually the books will not be freely available online.  However, you can use the BC3 Library’s Interlibrary Loan Service to request books and pick them up at one of the BC3 Colleg’s locations in about a week’s time. Here are links to some of these sources: