Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Finding Resources Using Citations: Finding a Book

How to find articles and other resources when you have the source's citation information (author, article title, journal title, date, etc.)

Quick Guide on How to Find a Book

Identifying and locating books with a citation can be a simple process.

1. Go to the Library Catalog.
  • You can search for books using as much or as little information as you have.
2. Search the catalog and find the book that matches the citation information.
  • If you have the title or the author of the book, try to use those by doing a title and/or author search. It can be sometimes helpful to search for both the title and author, especially if the title is something general like Health Education. If you can't remember the full title, try to search using as much information as you can remember using a title search.
  • Scan your results to identify the book that looks like it matches the citation information.
  • Remember that the first few results of a search may not be the correct one. Keep scrolling down until you find what you are looking for.


3. Get the book(s).
  • Write down the whole call number (which is like the "address" of the book).
  • Go to the section of the library that has the books with the call numbers you've written down. Not sure where to go? Stop by the Reference desk for directions.

Not sure how to read a citation?

Here’s just one example of a book citation in MLA format:
Marius, Richard and Melvin E. Page. A Short Guide to Writing About History. New York: Pearson Longman, 2007. Print.

And the breakdown:
Author's name(s).
Title of Book: Subtitle of Book. Publication Location: Publisher Name, Year. Print.

Additional information will be required if your book is in electronic format. See the style guides for detailed instructions.

Need more help? Contact a Reference Librarian.

Need help?

Click on the black arrow to open the chat in a new window.

If we're not online, please email us at Please allow 1 business day for a response.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.