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Research Process: Find Books

This guide focuses on the skills and resources needed to complete a research project.

Search the Catalog

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(Rowan-Cabarrus Libraries Only)


More Powerful Search (including all NC Community Colleges) - Search Here!

Why use Books?

BOOKS cover virtually any topic, fact or fiction. For research purposes, you will probably be looking for books that synthesize all the information on one topic.

Libraries organize and store their book collections on shelves called "stacks." But books also come in electronic form. The library purchases these “ebooks,” which are available via the web.

Find books…

  • by coming into the library and browsing the shelves by subject. Signs and labels on the spine of the book help you find what you are looking for.
  • by searching the online library catalog

The online catalog is a database of books and other materials including magazines, journals, streaming video, and newspaper articles held by the library.

Library of Congress Call Numbers

What is a Call Number?

The Call Number is a series of letters and numbers located at the bottom of the spine of the book. Each book has a unique call number making it easy to find on the shelf. At the end of every shelf, an alphabetical range is given to help you easily locate your book.


How do you find a book?

When selecting materials for the general collection, priority is given to those materials that support curricular needs. We also provide electronic access to thousands of E-books titles in our databases.

Our collection is cataloged and organized using the Library of Congress Call Number System


Do you need a book or article that RCCC does not own?

Books or articles not owned by RCCC can usually be borrowed from other libraries by the Interlibrary Loan Department. You can submit an Interlibrary Loan request in person or online.

Searching for Books

Searching for books using the library's catalog is easy.

Some helpful steps to follow when searching the library's catalog include:

  • Brainstorm some Keywords to begin your search
  • Use Boolean Operators to enhance your searches (e.g. music AND piracy - will narrow your results by searching for both of the keywords together)
  • Locate the Call Number and check availabilty of the book

Library of Congress Classification-Outline