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The Library in Five Minutes: Finding Books and Articles

Finding Books – An Overview

Finding Books - Library Catalogs

Bluffton University patrons have a number of options for finding books and other materials. Review the Finding Books guide for an overview. Also see related information below:

  • Step One: Search the Bluffton Library Catalog - to find materials here at our library. It's good to start your searching with Bluffton.
  • Step Two: Extend your search from the Bluffton Catalog by selecting the Search OhioLINK button at the top of the screen - to find materials at other academic libraries in Ohio.
    • Request materials and have them sent to Bluffton, or to other OhioLINK institutions for pickup. Check here for help with requesting. Scroll down to the section "Placing a Request."
  • Step Three: Explore beyond OhioLINK by clicking on the SearchOhio icon - to find materials at public libraries in Ohio. Available items can be requested.
  • Step Four: Searching WorldCat and using Interlibrary Loan - usually, the first three steps will enable you to find what you need. But if not, you can search WorldCat to check on availability in libraries around the world.

Finding books using WINDOW

  • An alternative method for finding books is to use WINDOW, the search box on the library's homepage.
  • WINDOW searches many research databases and the Bluffton Catalog.
  • Enter your search terms and click on the Search button.
  • This will take you to the main page for WINDOW.
  • Your results will include both books and articles. To limit your search to the Bluffton Catalog, look at the column on the left-hand side of the screen and check the box for Bluffton Catalog.
  • To expand your search to OhioLINK, click on the Search button at the bottom of the OhioLINK widget on the right side of the screen.

Finding Articles

Finding Articles

  • There are a number of ways to find journal, magazine, and newspaper articles. You can search WINDOW or you can search individual Research Databases.

Finding Articles using WINDOW

  • WINDOW is the single search box on the library's homepage.
  • WINDOW searches many research databases (in addition to the Bluffton Catalog).
  • Enter your search terms and click on the Search button.
  • This will take you to the main page for WINDOW.
  • Your results will include both books and articles. On the left side of the screen, you can limit your results, for example, to academic journals.

Finding Articles using Research Databases

  • Searching individual databases is also a good way to proceed. It’s a way to focus your search. While WINDOW searches many databases, searching an individual database allows you to focus on one subject area. You might decide to search a business database, or one in the area of sociology, psychology, education, etc.
  • Often an individual database (e.g. Academic Search Complete) offers more specialized options for refining your search than WINDOW does.
  • Musselman Library has access to more than 200 research databases. Visit the library’s website to see both alphabetical and subject listings of these databases.

NOTE: for information about accessing articles that are not fulltext in the databases, please see the Interlibrary Loan box below.

Interlibrary Loan

Interlibrary Loan

In many cases, articles will be available fulltext from within WINDOW, or in the research databases. But if they aren't, don't give up. We can often get the articles for you.

  • Place an Interlibrary Loan (ILL) request, using the article request form on the Interlibrary Loan page OR find the ILL link in the database record for the article of interest.
  • Many times we can get what you need. Articles can be available in about a week. But it can take up to three weeks, so it’s helpful if you do your research early so that we can better assist you.
  • Don’t give up on a source just because it’s not immediately available full-text. Often we can help you access the source you want if we have sufficient time.
  • ILL article delivery: Usually the article will be delivered by email.