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Library DIY

Navigating UWG library resources and research

Search for a book: Accessing the catalog

There are two ways to access the catalog from the Library homepage:

  1. Click on the "Books" button above the search box on the right of the screen. The default search will search only for items in the UWG Library. To search for items from all USG Libraries, use the drop down menu to select "USG Universal Catalog." Click on the magnifying glass to see search results.


  2. From the "Our Resources" menu box below the search bar, click on catalog.  The default search will search only for items in the UWG Library. To search for items from all USG Libraries, click on "Advanced Search" (to the right of the search box). At the top of the new search box, change the "Search Scope" from "University of West Georgia" to "University System of Georgia" by using the drop-down menu.

Starting a catalog search


Go to the UWG catalog.

Simple search

You can do a simple search by entering the book title and/or the author into the search box. Note that if you do a simple search you may get many results and need to look carefully for the right item.

Advanced search

For more precise searching use the Advanced Search. Click "Advanced Search" to the right of the search box. You can then limit your search terms to specified fields, like Title or Author.
(Click the Sign-in for More Options tab to access an online book, or to request an item that is located at another USG Library.)

Limiting search results to books

From the search results page you can limit your results to books. From the search options, find "Format" and select "Books."

Review the search results

To decide which item/s are relevant to you, view information on the results page. It includes basic information like the item's title, author, publication date, and location and availability. Click on a book title to see the full record and more details about the book (e.g., summary, relevant subjects).View the search results carefully to be sure you have located the correct version of your book (e.g., correct author, publication year, or format).

Locating the book

First check the location and availability.

For online books at UWG, click the "Online Access" link.

Print books have a physical library location. To find the physical location of a print book locate the catalog record. Then look at the "Available at" section of the record. If the book is available, the location will be listed by 1) the general Library location and 2) the call number.

General library location

Most books are in the Ingram Library Stacks, but some are in other Library locations (e.g., Special Collections, Government Documents Ready Reference). The location description also states on the relevant floor of the Library.

Call numbers

A call number describes the specific location of a physical library item. It consists of a combination of letters and numbers (e.g., HQ1762 .W63 1998). In the UWG Library Stacks, books with call numbers starting with A-H are on the 2nd floor; J-Z are on the 3rd floor.

Once you have the library location and the call number, use the call number to locate the book on the shelves. 

Reading call numbers

Start with the first letter in the call number. If the call number is HQ1762 .W63 1998, the first letter is H (so the 2nd floor of University Library).

  • Within the H's, you will find just H, then HA, HB, HC... and so on down to HQ.
  • Once you find the HQ's, look for 1762. (So HQ100 would come before HQ 1000 which comes before HQ1762.) This is a whole number.
  • Once you find HQ1762, look for the letter W.
  • Once you find HQ1762 .W, look for .63 - and note that this number is a decimal number, not a whole number.
  • Keep going until you find your book!
  • The last number is often the year the book was published or the copyright date.

Don't see a call number?

  • If the print book is currently unavailable, you may not see the call number in the record. You can first search in the catalog for another version of the book. If another version is unavailable, you may Recall the book or request it through Resource Sharing.
  • Remember that electronic books do not have a collection or call number; instead click on Access Online link.

If UWG doesn't have the book

Often UWG Library does not have a book, but can borrow it from another USG Library through the service GIL Express. This is usually the case if you search for a book in the USG catalog and the book's record says "Check holdings." 

To request a book via GIL Express

  • After finding for the book title in the catalog, click "Check holdings."
  • Click the "Sign in" link (under "Get It"). Enter your UWG username and password.
  • Click the institution from which you wish to borrow and wait for a moment for more information to populate. Look for the "Request It" link.
  • Click the "Request It" link and place your request.

Resource Sharing

If no USG Libraries have the book, request it through Resource Sharing.