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Library DIY

Navigating UWG library resources and research

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

In the UWG catalog, it usually works best to begin with a simple search. You can then narrow your search from the results page.
(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.)


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. If you want to find books on your topic, enter 1-3 keywords that describe your topic. (You can also use the Advanced search for more search options.)

Examples: bilingual education; gothic architecture; greek utopias; cochlear implants.


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.


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."


Limiting Search Results to e-books

There are two steps to limiting the results to e-books:

  1. Limit results to electronic sources: In the limiter options (on the left if in full-screen mode on a computer, or under "Tweak My Results" on smaller screens), find the "Availability" heading and select "Full Access Online."
  2. Limit results to books: In the limiter option, find the "Format" heading 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 in the catalog.

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

If UWG Library...

  • does not provide access to the e-book and does not have a print version of the book, the Library may be able to get a print version through Resource Sharing.
  • has only the electronic version of book and you want the print version, you can also request the print through Resource Sharing.

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., PR4034. P7 1991).

UWG Call Number Locations:

  • A-H: 2nd floor
  • J-M: Ground floor
  • N-Z: 3rd floor

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

The book Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen from the library catalog highlighting its call number PR4034. P7 1991.

Reading call numbers

A breakdown of how to read call numbers based on the call number for Pride and Prejudice which is PR4034. P7 1991. The first letter is P, which means this book is on the third floor. Read the first letters alphabetically; in this case, down to PR since R is the second letter. Next, the first series of numbers is read as a whole number. Find 4034 in the PR section. After the decimal point, the letters should be read alphabetically and any numbers should be read as decimals (NOT whole numbers). The last part of the call number is the publication year, and so books will be arranged chronologically. This is helpful when the library has multiple copies of a book that were published in different years.

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 request it through Resource Sharing.
  • Remember that electronic books do not have a collection or call number; instead click on Online access link.

The book Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen from the library catalog highlighting that in place of a call number, there is a link to access the text online.

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.