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Textbook Tips: Musselman Library's Resources

Course Reserves

Photo of four Campbell Biology textbooks and other books on a library shelf Photo of check out and reserves desk sign at Musselman Library

Course reserves are materials which have been set aside by a professor so that students in a specific course may use them.

To find out if your professor has already placed materials on reserve:

  • Access your course in Moodle to see if the item is on electronic reserve. Faculty often upload articles, chapters, and shorter works as PDFs.
  • Search for reserves in MUSCAT Plus by using the Advanced Search. Select the "Course Reserves" search option and type either the professor name (ex. Birkner) or course number (ex. HIST 300). Record the call number for the item you need (call numbers are a series of letters and numbers read from left to right starting with the initial letter or letters) and ask the circulation staff at the Check Out & Reserves Desk for the item. Faculty put books and videos on course reserve so students in the course can check them out for a short period of time (2 hours for books, 3 hours for DVDs).
  • If you feel that something should be on course reserve and it's not, it's always acceptable to ask your professor if they will consider placing the material on reserve.

Find Books in the Library

While the library doesn't usually have traditional textbooks, we likely have required readings for your class like novels or scholarly books. Be mindful, however, of restrictions on borrowing length and the potential needs of other classmates.

Searching for Specific Books

MUSCAT Plus searches books, e-books, videos, articles, and more. To see if we have access to a specific book, use the Advanced Search option and click the "Library Catalog (MUSCAT)" limit under the search boxes. Enter the information you have in the search box with the appropriate restriction on the side (title or author.)

Books may be available as physical books or as ebooks.

Accessing Physical Books in the Library

Once you have found the book you want, record its call number. Call numbers are a series of letters and numbers read from left to right starting with the initial letter or letters. There are signs at the Check Out Desk and on the door to each floor that tell you where you can find your call number. For more detailed information on finding books in our library, view this video.

Accessing Library Ebooks

To specifically search for ebooks, go to the Advanced Search option in MUSCAT Plus and search "Library Catalog (MUSCAT)". In the 'Material Type' drop down, select "Books." After getting your search results, limit to "Available Online" on the left-hand side to narrow your results to ebooks.

To access an ebook, click on the book's title to open the record. Under "View Online" select the full text option available. This will take you to the full text of the book through one of our ebook collections. For more information on library ebooks, visit our ebook guide.

Interlibrary Loan

If the library's copy of a book is checked out, or we don't own a book, we can attempt to borrow a copy from another library via Interlibrary Loan. Unfortunately, the library cannot use Interlibrary Loan for textbooks.

A few things to remember:

  • Since Interlibrary Loans are shorter than usual and the materials can be recalled at any time, this is not an ideal alternative to buying course materials needed daily throughout the semester.
  • Loaned books usually arrive in 4-6 days, but they may take up to two weeks.
  • Loaned materials can be renewed, but we cannot grant renewals on behalf of the lending institution, so renewals may be denied.

For a complete description of the library's Interlibrary Loan service, visit our Interlibrary Loan guide.