BSC - Finding Textbooks

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Welcome! This tutorial will show you how to find textbooks.

This guide is designed to work side-by-side with you on a live website.

In this tutorial, you will learn how to:

  • search for books by keyword, title, author, and course information
  • use Summon, library catalog, and course reserves
  • find the location of an item (stacks, reserves, archives, etc.)

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"Finding Textbooks" by K. Bertel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

This tutorial was adapted from "Does the Library Have My Textbook?" by D. Davidoff. 

Textbooks at Butler Library

It is not the policy of Butler Library to collect textbooks.

However, we may own the textbook or your professor may have put a copy of the textbook on reserve at the Circulation Desk for students to borrow for a short period of time.

Let's take a look at the different ways we can search for a textbook at Butler Library.


Finding Books Using Course Reserves

There are several ways to search for textbooks on reserve, including by textbook title, professor's name, and course number.

Beginning on the library's homepage, click the link for Course Reserves below the Summon search bar.

Course reserves button below Summon search on library homepage


Finding Books Using Course Reserves: By Title

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Let's start by looking for a textbook by title.

Your turn:

  • Type or paste the following title into the Course Reserve search bar: Public Speaking for Success
  • Hit enter on your keyboard or click the Go button

Course reserves search page highlighting search bar and go button 

Finding Books Using Course Reserves: By Title

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If you look on the far right, you can see Professors Yodess, Kimmel, and Liao are all using this book for their classes.

How many copies of the book are available on Course Reserve?

The second one, is a book taken from the library's collection and held on reserve for the semester and provides a library call number. 

What is a call number?

What is the call number for this book?

The remaining books are the faculty member's own copies.


Finding Books Using Course Reserves: By Course

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If you aren't sure of the textbook title, another way to search is by the three-letter course number such as CWP 100 or LIB 300.

Let's go back to the Course Reserves search page and search for textbooks by course number.

To return to this page, click the Search Course Reserves link in the upper left corner of the orange Library Catalog menu. 

Search Course Reserves link in the Library Catalog menu

When searching by course number, it should be typed without any spaces and an asterisk (*) is added at the end, which allows the system to search for materials on reserve by all instructors who teach that course.


Finding Books Using Course Reserves: By Course

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Your turn:

  • Type or paste the following course number into the Course Reserves search bar: ant101*
  • Hit enter on your keyboard or click the Go button

Along the right side, you will see all the professors that have items on reserve for Anthropology 101. 

Are there any books on reserve for Professor Gaffin's section(s) of Anthropology 101?

Finding Books Using Course Reserves: By Professor

Another way of finding books using Course Reserves is by a professor's last name.

Again, return to the Search Course Reserves page by clicking on the link in the upper left menu.

Your turn:

  • Type or paste the following name into the Course Reserves search bar: Gaffin
  • Hit enter on your keyboard or click the Go button

On the results page, you can see a list of materials that Professor Gaffin has on reserve for all of his courses.

It's a good idea to print out a list of books on reserve for your classes to keep with you throughout the semester.

Borrowing Books From Course Reserves

When you go to the Circulation Desk to borrow a book on Course Reserves, you'll need to provide either:

  • the call number (if it's a library book)
  • the title of the book (if it's a faculty-owned book)

It may be easiest to just print the results page, or take a picture of the screen with your phone and take it to the Circulation Desk.

In order to check out a book, you will need your Bengal ID Card.

For more information visit our Borrow Materials page.

Finding Books Using Summon

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You can also find out if your textbook is in the general library collection by searching the library catalog using Summon.

Summon is a search engine that can help you find almost everything the library owns or has access to. In Summon, you can search for books, articles, videos, and more.

It’s like the library’s version of Google.

Finding Books Using Summon

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Let's return to the library's homepage. Click the Library Home link in the upper left corner.

Library Home link in Course Reserves menu

On the library's homepage, the Summon search box looks like this:

Summon search on library homepage

Simply type the textbook title or author or both and Summon will search the library's holdings.

Your turn:

  • Type or paste the following book title into the Summon search box: Campbell Biology
  • Hit enter on your keyboard or click the magnifying glass Magnifying glass icon for Summon search button

Does How College Works by Daniel Chambliss and Christopher Takacs appear in our list of results?

Is this book available in print or as an ebook?

Borrowing Books From the General Collection

If a book is available online, eBook will appear after the book description, along with a link for Full Text Online.

eBook link to Full Text Online

If a book is available in the general collection, Stacks or Curriculum Materials Lab will appear after the call number. 

Call number for "How College Works" followed by the Stacks location designation

If a Special Collections name appears after the call number, this book is only available for use in Archives.

Call number for "The Higher Learning in America" with the Special Collections location designation

To find a book in the stacks or Curriculum Materials Lab, write down the call number and use a library map to navigate to the appropriate section.

To check out an item, bring the item and your Bengal ID Card to the Circulation Desk.

If You Don't Find Your Textbook

In Course Reserves:

If you don't find your textbook on reserve, consider asking your professor if he or she has a copy available to put on reserve for the class to share.

If your instructor did not put your textbook on reserve, there is a chance the library might have a copy, but keep in mind it might not be the most recent edition.


In Summon:

If the title you searched for does not appear within the first few results in Summon:

  • There are many other items that have similar words in the title or description. Try using "quotation marks" around the title.
  • The title may be too general and many other items have the same title. Try adding the author's last name
  • If you still cannot find the book, ask a librarian for help. It's possible we don't own it, but we may be able to get it from another library.



Please enter your name and email address to retrieve a copy of your completed quiz.

You can enter multiple email addresses separated by commas. If you are doing this for a class, you may need to enter your instructor's email address also.