Answered By: Ro Ross
Last Updated: Jun 07, 2018     Views: 260

Q: I looked for a book in the stacks and it wasn’t there. What should I do?
Answered by: Ro Ross

In Orbis, our online catalog, search for the book. There are various searches that you can do, i.e, title, author, subject, keyword.

When you have found the book you are looking for, open up the record and:

  1. Check the call number of the book and make sure it is the same call number that you searched for.
  2. Check the location of the book and make sure you were searching in the proper library.
  3. Check the status of the item to make sure that the book is not checked out or in transit.
  4. Check how the book is classified. Is it Yale Classification or Library of Congress Classification? This is important because these classifications are shelved in different areas.
  5. Check to see if it the book is regular sized or oversized as these books are shelved in different areas as well.



In the example above, the book is in Sterling Memorial Library (SML), the classification system is Library of Congress (LC), and the item is not checked out. This book should be on the shelf in SML.

If you searched for the book in the proper location and still didn’t find it, try these steps.

  1. Check the entire shelf where the book should have been. It is possible it was slightly misshelved.
  2. Check the book trucks at the end of the aisles on the floor where the book should be shelved. These books are waiting to be shelved and are in order by call number.
  3. Visit the service desk in the library and ask for help. The staff there are happy to further assist you.
  4. Request staff search and delivery for the book. If possible, you may also request the book through Borrow Direct in case library staff determine that the book is missing.

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