Skip to Main Content

General Business resources: Finding a Book

This guide will introduce you in finding articles and books for general business topics and questions

Why Books?

Books provide a great deal of background information for your research. Although journal articles are the best way to access the most current information, books can often contain more in-depth research. To see what you have access to through the OSU Libraries, we've provided various tips and explanations below.

Find A Book

To find a book in the OSU Library system, we use two different resources. The first is the Library Catalog which provides access to the over 3 million print and online items available through OSU. The second is named WorldCat and it will not only show you the resources available through the OSU Libraries but also those at most of the libraries across North America.

To search the Library Catalog, follow these steps.

Library Catalog (simply use the search box in the middle of the home page)

WorldCat (items held at OSU will have highlighted "OKLAHOMA STATE UNIV" text under the titles.

Search Tips

Search Tips:

  • Spelling matters. If you find no (or few) matches to a keyword search, double check spelling.
  • If you find too many results, enter more keywords to be more specific.
  • If you find no results, remove some keywords (you're being too specific), or broaden the search.
  • When searching for titles, ignore A, An, and The when they start the title.

Combine terms with AND

For example: sexual health AND college students

Use OR to broaden the search

For example: (smoking OR tobacco) AND health

Truncation - the addition of a symbol (usually an asterisk *) at the beginning or end of a word stem in a keyword search to retrieve variants containing the root. For example, truncation is particularly useful in retrieving singular and plural versions of words.

Example: librar* would find library, libraries, librarian, librariana, librarianship, etc.


Library Catalog: The collection of records identifying and locating the items owned by a library is called its catalog. In the past, this would have been a large collection of drawers with cards called a card catalog. Each card contained the information needed to identify what the library owned and where it was located. Today, most libraries have moved to an online catalog, where the bibliographic records are entered into a computer database, which can be searched to find desired information. At OSU, this catalog is known as the OSU Library Catalog.

Recall: When a recall is placed on an item, the person who currently has the book checked out receives a notice that they have two weeks to return the item, since someone else wishes to use it. Any library patron may recall an item.

Call Number: The unique address of a book in the stacks. The main system of call numbers used at Oklahoma State University Libraries is the Dewey Decimal system. An example of a Dewey call number is:



The top number is the subject identifier; other items on the same topic will be shelved in the same area. A chart of the Dewey Decimal numbers can be found here. Besides Dewey, there are several other call number systems in use at OSU. The Government Documents Department uses two different call number systems -- SuDocs numbers and Jackson Numbers. The Curriculum Materials Library uses a system found in many libraries to denote children's books of various reading levels. See also Library of Congress Classification System.

Call Slip: A small piece of paper that gives location information for items held by a library. In a "closed stack" system, call numbers for materials needed must be listed on the call slip then given to a library employee who will retrieve the materials for you. In an "open stack" system, the call slip indicates where call numbers are located in the building. In open stack systems, users can go to the floors and retrieve the materials themselves. OSU uses open stacks and users are welcome on all floors to browse the collection. In the OSU Library, call slips can be found by the OSU Online Catalog terminals, the reference and circulation desks.