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Finding Books: Finding Books (by Using Library Catalogs)

This guide describes briefly the process of finding books available for borrowing by Bluffton University students, faculty and staff.

Finding Books - An Overview

Bluffton University patrons have a number of options for finding books and other materials. This guide will focus on finding books, but much of the content will be relevant to other formats as well.

Bluffton patrons have several excellent options for locating and borrowing books. Sometimes it’s as easy as finding it here on the shelf at Musselman Library, while other times it means requesting from another library. Here is a simple breakdown of what the process might look like to find the books you need. Librarians would be happy to help you with any part of this process.

Step One: Search the Bluffton Catalog - to find materials here at our library

Step Two: Search the OhioLINK Catalog - to find materials at other academic libraries in Ohio

Step Three: Search the SearchOhio Catalog - to find materials at public libraries in Ohio

Step Four: Search WorldCat / Interlibrary Loan - usually, the first three steps will enable you to find what you need. But if not, you can search WorldCat to see if it might be available there. WorldCat includes materials from libraries around the world.

NOTE: while the above are described as step one, etc. there will be times when you might go directly to, say, SearchOhio. Or if you’re off-campus and rarely come to Bluffton, you might begin with OhioLINK.

Need Help? Ask Us!

We are available to help you with any part of the process. There are a number of ways to reach us. To see how you can contact us with questions, click on: Need Help? Ask Us!

- created by -

Guide created by Paul L. Weaver.

Bluffton Library Catalog

Search the Bluffton Library Catalog to find materials that we have here in Musselman Library.

You can also expand your search to OhioLINK by clicking on the Search OhioLINK button at the top of the screen.

OhioLINK Catalog

To expand your search beyond what is available at Bluffton, you want to search the OhioLINK Catalog. This includes the holdings of around 120 academic libraries in Ohio, as well as the State Library of Ohio. You can search OhioLINK by clicking on the Search OhioLINK button in the Bluffton Catalog, or by going directly to the OhioLINK Catalog using the link on the library’s homepage.


SearchOhio is a group of public libraries across the state of Ohio that operates much like OhioLINK. Bluffton users can find the link to SearchOhio at the top of the screen when they’re viewing results in the OhioLINK catalog. Users can click on that SearchOhio link to do a search. There is also a direct link to SearchOhio on the library’s homepage. Users can find and request materials in SearchOhio just as they do in OhioLINK.

WorldCat / Interlibrary Loan

WorldCat includes materials from libraries around the world. WorldCat is listed on the library’s Research Databases page. Bluffton patrons can search the Worldcat catalog and if materials are found, they can fill out an Interlibrary Loan request form. The library staff will then try to borrow the book from a library that owns the item.

To access the Interlibrary Loan page, click on the link above, or go to the More Research Tools category on the library's homepage, and click on Interlibrary Loan.