Steps to Finding Books

  1. Search Maxwell Library's online catalog. If we don't own a book you want, then:
  2. Search the Massachusetts Jump to Commonwealth Catalog. If the book you want is in the catalog, request it and have it sent to Maxwell Library. If CommCat doesn't have the book you want:
  3. Request the book through Interlibrary Loan (ILL).
  4. Search WorldCat. WorldCat is a catalog containing the holdings of thousands of libraries around the world, including Maxwell Library. If you find a book of interest in WorldCat and Maxwell Library doesn't own it, follow the link to our Interlibrary Loan service.
  5. Search Google Books. If you identify titles that you're interested in, you can then obtain them using steps 1-3.

Find Books in Maxwell Library

Maxwell Library Catalog

Advanced Search

Limit your search by location

An excellent way to limit your search to books located in the ERC is to go to the Advanced Search page and click on the Collection tab below the search boxes.  Here, you can limit to books in the entire ERC or to books in specific collections of the ERC, such as children's books, textbooks, etc.

Find Books in Other Massachusetts Libraries

If you find a book you want in the CommCat, you can select and request it online and have it sent to you at BSU (the item will go to the Maxwell Library Circulation Desk).

Google Books

Google Book Search


WorldCat is a library catalog containing records for the holdings of over 10,000 libraries worldwide, including Maxwell Library.

What is WorldCat?

Use WorldCat to Search Libraries Near You
Enter title, subject or author

How Materials Are Shelved in the ERC

The ERC is set up as a browsing collection. Materials of similar kind are housed together on the shelves, so that, for example, all K-12 textbooks are on one set of shelves, the kits are on another, and the children's and young adult books are on yet another. All shelf ranges are labeled for easy discovery and accessibility.

Three call systems are used in the ERC: Library of Congress, Dewey Decimal, and a US Dept. of Education system. Dewey Decimal is used only for our children's and young adult books; the US Dept. of Education system is used only for textbooks. All other books and materials use the Library of Congress system. See box below on reading call numbers.

Note: The library's main collection, referred to as the General Collection, uses the Library of Congress system only. he General Collection is housed on the second and third floors.

Reading Call Numbers

Interlibrary Loan

Can't find a book you need in Maxwell Library or the Massachusetts Virtual Catalog?  You may request the book using the library's Interlibrary Loan service.

With Interlibrary Loan (ILL), Maxwell Library will try to find the item you want at another library and have it sent to you here.

Evaluating Books

See the "Evaluate It!" box on the "Research Tips" page for information on evaluating sources.