When searching for books, the best place to start is the library catalog on the library homepage.


Here are some tips that might help you improve your research skills:

1. Limit your search

You can search by Keyword, Title, Author, or Subject. Using these limiters will help you get more concise results.

2. Use quotation marks

Quotation marks help you search a specific phrase or combination of words. For instance, if you search the phrase social media, the catalog will bring up results that have those two words anywhere in the title or summary. If you put quotations around the words“social media” you will get results with that specific phrase.

3. Simplicity is key

Limit your search to the most important terms in your research question. So instead of searching “Where can I find information about the decline in the elephant population?” search the terms “decline” and “elephant population.” Use the term “AND” to link concepts together.

4. Try different words

Sometimes you will get better results if you search synonyms of your original search terms, for example, maybe “females” instead of “women”.

You should also remember what kind of results you are looking for. For instance, if you search “adolescents” instead of “teenagers” you might get more academic results.


There are many more search tips out there, but we don’t want to overwhelm you! If you are still having a hard time with your searches, please stop by the Information Desk at the library or contact a librarian. The library and librarians are here to serve you!

Still need help?  Ask us.