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Get Started with Basic Research

This guide provides an introductory overview of how to use library resources as well as tips for researching information and citing sources.

How to Find Books

NovaCat is the online library catalog for all NSU libraries. It provides an inventory of all physical items available at the library, and many electronic resources such as e-books and streaming media. The catalog is not used to search for scholarly articles.

Search the catalog to find books, video games, movies, sheet music, and more.

Searching in NovaCat

To find print books at the library:

  • Type a keyword, the title, or author into the catalog search.
  • Then, write down the call number. This helps you find the item on the shelf.
  • Finally, use a library map or ask a librarian to find the item's location in the library.

library catalog result for book showing the location, call number, and availability

  • The image above is the catalog result for the book Life on the Rocks by Juli Berwald. The book was found by searching the keyword "coral reefs" in the catalog. Now what?

  • The yellow box indicates the location, or in which NSU Library you'll find the book. This book is available at the Alvin Sherman Library.

  • The blue box is the book's call number. Write down or screenshot your book's call number. It is used like an address to find the book on the shelves. (Tip: Ask a Librarian to point you in the right direction!)

  • The red box indicates the book's status. If the status says AVAILABLE, the item may be checked out at the Circulation Desk with your NSU SharkCard. If the status is "DUE" or "LIB USE ONLY," you will not be able to check out the item. If an item is currently checked out by someone else, you can even place a hold on it to be notified when it is available.

Catalog Search Tips:

Use the library's catalog to search for materials such as books, ebooks, DVDs, etc., by keyword, author, or title. Click on an entry on the results list to view an item's availability, location, and call number.

  1. No results? Check your spelling or the fields you searched in. Selecting different fields will produce different results.

  2. Too few results? Go back and expand your search by using synonyms or related terms.

  3. Too many results? Go back and use the advanced search filters to limit your search.

Need help? Ask a Librarian!


Call Number Locations

The table below provides a quick guide where each call number range is located within the Alvin Sherman Library:


Library of Congress Call Number


A - HD69 .T46

3 East

HD69 .T46 – PQ

3 West


4 West

Dewey Call Number


1st floor











Helpful Handouts: