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Finding Materials from Citations: Finding Books and A/V Materials

Learn how to read a citation and to find the book, periodical article, or other item to which it refers.

Unsure of the Citation?

Are you sure that you're searching for a book or audio/visual material?  If not, check out the Reading the Citation tab.

Step 1: Truxal Library Catalog

Library catalogs give information about the books, audio/visual materials, and print periodicals that the library houses.

To find a book or audio/visual material from its citation, first search the Truxal Library Catalog for keywords from the title.

Pollan, M. (2006). The omnivore's dilemma: A natural history of four meals. New York: Penguin.

To find this book, search the library catalog for omnivore's dilemma.

If a book title has very common keywords, you may wish to search instead for the name(s) of the author(s) or editor(s).

Allport, F. H. (1924). Social psychology. New York: Houghton Mifflin.

Search for the author's last name and first initial in an AUTHOR search: Allport, F.

If you find a record for the material in the Library Catalog, write down the Location and Call Number of the item.  Colleges and universities generally use the Library of Congress call number system.

Location/Call Number Status Material
Circulating Collection  /  HM251. .A6 Available Book



To become more familiar with finding materials in the Library's print collection, complete the General Library Tutorial.  It takes about 15 minutes.

Step 2: Public Library Catalog

If Truxal Library doesn't have the material, you may wish to check with your public library.

Anne Arundel County Public Library's Catalog searches across the collections of all 15 branches, and you can have materials sent to the branch most convenient to you.

You may also use Marina, which searches the catalogs of public libraries statewide, and, again, materials can be sent to the most convenient location to you.

You will need a valid public library card to request materials using either of these options.

Step 3: Interlibrary Loan

Request a book through Interlibrary Loan.

Interlibrary loan involves Truxal Library asking other libraries to loan us (and you) materials.

Tips for interlibrary loan:

  • Almost all materials available through interlibrary loan are free; the form will ask if you are willing to pay a charge
  • We recommend a two-week lead time for interlibrary loan
  • Be aware that most audio/visual materials are not available through interlibrary loan

Research Assistance

More ways to get help:

Library photo courtesy of Barry Halkin Photography