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How Do I Find Books, Articles and Journals?

How do I Find Books at Vassar?

  • Search the online catalog by author, title, subject, or keyword for books, government documents, journals, videos and other items Vassar owns.
  • Try keyword first if you don't know what subject to search for.  Check subject headings at the bottom of the record to find other books on the same subject.
  • Identify the book's 
    • call number (where is it on the shelf?)
    • location (which room is it in?)
    • status (has it been checked out?)  
  • Use the Guide to Locations to find call numbers and rooms.  Print copies are at Reference or Circulation.

How do I find books at other libraries?

When the books you want are not in Vassar's collections, you may be able to get them through Interlibrary Loan. Set up an ILL account using an ILLiad Request Form.  Search ConnectNY or WorldCat to identify books  and order them through those services.

  • ConnectNY:  Consortium of New York State libraries. Use to get books not at Vassar or books which are checked out. Books ordered this way arrive in 2-4 days.
  • WorldCat:  Worldwide database of books, videos, etc.  Request books by clicking ILL symbol. Books ordered this way make take several weeks to arrive.

How do I read a "call number"?

Vassar uses several call number systems. The ones you will see most frequently are LC Classification and Supt. of Docs. Classification (used for U.S. government docs) 

LC Classification arranges items by subjects. A "call number" usually has 3 parts:

  1. Initial letter(s) + whole number = the subject of the book
  2. Following letter + decimal number = the author’s name or the book’s title
  3. Year of publication
  4. Example:
    • Book:  A New History of Jazz
      Author:  Shipton, Alyn
      Call number:  ML 3506.S47 2007
    • ML 3506 = Literature of music-->Popular music-->Jazz
      S47= Author's name:  Shipton
    • 2007 = Year of publication

Where is this "location" at Vassar?

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Vassar College Libraries, Box 20, 124 Raymond Ave., Poughkeepsie, NY, 12604-0020
845.437.5760 |