Unlike journal articles, which tend to focus on a very specific topic, a book provides comprehensive coverage of a topic, placing the topic within its broader context within the discipline as well as providing detailed information on the topic itself. For example, a book on a mathematics would break down its subject into chapters or sections on specific subtopics. Depending on the overall focus of the book it might cover the development of mathematics throughout history, focus on specific areas such as algebra, geometry or calculus, and perhaps discuss the use of mathematics in fields like statistics or engineering. A book will also identify significant concepts in the field and the terminology used by professionals. That kind of breadth and depth is impossible in a short article. This makes books a good starting place for most research projects. Scholarly books also provide extensive bibliographies that can help you identify relevant materials that you may want to look at for your own research.
The boxes below provide information and access to McFarlin Library resources that will help you identify and retrieve books related to your area of research. Some will be available only in print, others are electronic. If you have any questions or problems, please reach out to the librarians: email@example.com.
Print Books: The area in which the print books are shelved (often called the bookstacks or stacks) is located in the West Wing of McFarlin Library. With the exception of the Lower Level, which is closed due to flood damage, the bookstacks are open to the public and you are free to browse them.
The library also offers a retrieval service. If you find a book you want, you may submit an online request for a book (or books). You'll be notified when the book is ready for you to come to the library for pick up at the Plaza Level Check-out Desk.
E-books: McFarlin has a substantial collection of electronic books. These are available online, 24/7. You will need to be a currently enrolled student in order to check these out. Many of these are on the ProQuest research database platform. ProQuest has an online help website devoted to providing support for users of these ebooks. Or you may contact the research librarians if you need assistance.
The library pays for access to other collections, such as ProQuest's Ebook Central.
ProQuest's Ebook Central has over 200,000 academic ebooks from a variety of publishers on a wide range of topics and disciplines. You may read the ebooks in your browser or check them out and download them for offline reading on your laptop, tablet or phone (iOS or Android).
HINT: To search for an exact title, enclose the title in quotation marks: for example, "Diplomat in Carpet Slippers"
If you need assistance in using the ProQuest ebooks, please consult ProQuest's Ebook Central LibGuide which provides detailed instructions, including tutorials on using the online reader, and how to download ebooks. You may also contact the McFarlin Library Research Dept. The librarians will be happy to help!