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How Do I...?   Tags: help, how_to, howto, library, questions, renew, textbooks  

Get answers to general library questions, learn how to find sources for research, how to get help, and more
Last Updated: Oct 10, 2013 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Find Books Print Page

How Are Books Organized on the Shelves?

We arrange every book, video, DVD, CD, map, or magazine on the shelves in the library by subject. Like other academic libraries, we use the Library of Congress Classification System to assign Call Numbers to our materials so that books, etc. on similar topics are next to each other on the shelves. 

You need to know a book's call number in order to get it off the shelf in the library. This CSU, Los Angeles guide entitled, Understanding Call Numbers provides a useful introduction to the organizational scheme. Call numbers are a book's address on the shelves, they tell you the subject of the book, and make sure that books on the same subject are shelved together.

Using & Finding Books

Why Use Books?

Use books to read broad overviews and detailed discussions of your topic. 

How Do I Search for Books?

You use the MJC Library catalog to identify books, DVDs, CDs, eBooks, and more that the MJC Library owns and to find out where they're located. Use the search terms that you've identified to search the MJC Library catalog now.

eBooks at MJC:

If you need a book when the library is closed, no worries.  The MJC Library owns thousands of eBooks that you can use at any time of the day or night. You can find these in the MJC Library Catalog and in some of our research databases.

To connect to any of the research databases from off campus you will be prompted to log in with your MJC ID Number (your student # or your employee #) and your six-digit birth date.

The MJC Library research databases that will work best for you are...


Need Books from Other Libraries?

If you're looking for a book that the MJC Library doesn't have either in print or electronically, don't worry; we can have it sent to you here from another library. This service is called, Interlibrary Loan, and it allows us to locate and get copies of library materials sent here from other libraries around the country or around the world for you to check out and return here.

Find out more about this service and request to borrow materials from other libraries on the Library's Web site.


How Do I Place a Hold?

You can place a hold on an item that is currently checked out; when it is returned, you will be notified by email. You can also place a hold on an item in Columbia's library and it will be sent to MJC for you. Or even place a hold from home on an item on MJC's shelf so it doesn't get checked out by anyone else before you get to the library. 

To learn how, view this 3-minute video tutorial or read the transcript.


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