Skip to Main Content

LING 3 (Tsai, Winter 2023): Finding Books

UC Library Search


WorldCat Discovery @UCSB

WorldCat Discovery @UCSB is a way to find books and other materials located in libraries outside the UC System. 

Searching Tips and Tricks: BOOKS

Start with Keywords:

  • Keyword searching uses your vocabulary - words that you think best represent your topic. A keyword search looks for matches between your words and words in the titles, subject headings, tables of content (etc.) of books in the Library catalog.

  • Try to think of the different words that a person writing on your topic might use.  For example, the term dementia can also refer to Alzheimer's disease  Enter these words on one line of your search screen, separated by the word OR:
    • Line 1 (Keyword): Alzheimer's disease or dementia
    • Consider using the UCSB Library Catalog Advanced Search for complex searches.  Break your topic into its component facets and search for each facet on a separate line of the Advanced Search screen.  For example, if you are looking for information on internment you can also add incarceration, detainment or prison.
    • You may also want to try using the truncation symbol * (asterisk) to expand your results. For example Asian* will retrieve Asians, Asianist, Asianicity, etc.

    advance search library catalog

    Follow the Subject Headings:

      • In libraries, subjects are drawn from a controlled vocabulary: the librarian who "catalogs" (creates a catalog record for) a book selects words or phrases from a list of subjects (the Library of Congress Subject Headings), choosing one or more subjects that s/he believes best represents what the book is about.

      • When you have a set of results from your keyword search, you can click on titles to see additional information on each book, including what subjects have been assigned to the book.  If one of the subject headings describes all or part of your topic well, you can click on that subject to "Find other items in the Pegasus Catalog" that have been assigned that same subject heading.  In the example below, you could click on either Dementia or Alzheimer's disease to see a list of titles in the Library that has been assigned that subject heading.


    subject headings Japanese Americans and internment

    Go to the Stacks:

    • Once you have identified good sources of information on your topic, write down what you need to know to find it in the Library stacks: the author's name, the title of the book, its Library location (e.g. Main Library or Native American Studies) and the call number - the address of where the book "lives" on the Library's shelves.
    • The salmon-colored Library Locations guide (you can find these posted all around the Library) will help you know which floor and section of the Library to go to to find your book.
    • Libraries organize materials by subject. So look to the left and right of the book you've chosen to see if you can find other titles on your topic.

    My Library Account

    Want to:

    renew books?

           save searches?

                   check ILL requests?

    Log in to your Library Account!

    Forgot your password?

    Call us at (805) 893-3491
    or e-mail 

    InterLibrary Loan

    Request an item directly from UC Library Search or a database (FASTEST service):

    Want to renew your ILL items?

    Questions? Contact ILL

    (805) 893-3436

    UCSB Library - Services Desk