Reference Desk

Reference Desk

To find books at Truman College Library, please stop by the reference desk and ask a librarian to help you navigate the online catalog or find a book on the shelf. You can also click on any of the underlined words below to learn more about what the word means.

Arrangement of Books

Books are arranged by subject. You will find all books in the library on one subject grouped together. If you find one book in the catalog that you like, then likely there are other books next to it on the shelf that you will like too.

Each book has a call number. This number helps you to locate the book on the shelf. It is like the address of the book.


ESL Easy Readers

Circulating Books

You can take these books home with you, but you must return them to the library. To take a book home with you (checkout), you must show your student ID. You may take home five books at one time, for two weeks. After two weeks you must bring the books back to the library. If you need the book for longer than two weeks, you can ask to borrow it for longer (renew).

The Truman College Library ESL Easy Reader Collection contains both fiction and non-fiction (true stories) books for you to read for pleasure. We have all levels, from Beginner (Level 1)  to Advanced (Level 6). We also have books to read with your children.  This collection is located in the front of the library, near the exit. You can borrow up to five books to take home for two weeks.


Shelf 11 with ESL books

The regular stacks also contain books that you can borrow  to take home for two weeks.  These hold books on almost any topic you can imagine. This is the place to go when you are doing research for your courses. We also have a large section of ESL books. These include books on English grammar, public speaking, and writing. These books are located on shelf number 11. The call numbers for these books begin with PE1106-PE1115, and PE1128.

Circulation Desk

Circulation Desk

To checkout a book, take it to the Circulation Desk at the front of the library, in between the entrance and exit doors. To checkout a book, show the staff your student ID and they will look up your account. You can check out a book for two weeks at one time, and may take five books home at once. If you return the book late, you must pay a fine of .25 per day.

Dictionaries are in row 5 of the reference section

Dictionaries are in row 5 of the reference section

Reference Books

You cannot take these books home with you. These include dictionaries, encyclopedias, atlases, and other materials used to answer research questions. You may use them any time the library is open. This also includes our Career Section, where you can find books and  information (salary, skills, certification) related to careers. You cannot take these books home. The most important section for you includes our dictionaries. We have dictionaries that translate between English and many other languages. You can find these in row 5 of the reference section, which is in the middle part of the library (with the lower shelves).

Reserve Books

 The library holds course textbooks on reserve. You can borrow these books for two hours with your student ID. These books cannot leave the library, but you can make copies for .10 per page.

Finding Books

  • Click the Library Catalog link on the library’s home page
  • Use keyword terms to search by topic; if you know the author or title of the book you want, click and use the Author or Title tabs
  • If necessary, narrow results by using “and” to add terms, or use the Modify Search button (example: nurs* AND career)
  • In the list of results, click on the book’s title to see its full record
  • Check record for book’s location, call number, and status (availability)
  • A call number is used to find the book on the library shelves
    • A call number’s initial letters indicate the general subject
    • Reference books have call numbers beginning [Ref]
    • A book’s call number can be found on a white label located on its spine

For example, soccer AND history. You can also search by title, author, subject, or call number, using the tabs above the search box. This page also contains search hints and tips. Press Enter, or click on “Submit.”


Note that now you can access online materials such as scholarly and newspaper articles through our library catalog, as you can see in the image below. However, for this examples we chose the filter “Library” as we are looking for a printed book from the library.




















Once you find a title of your interest, note if it is  available at your preferred location. You can see this by the green dot on the left of the title as seen in the image below.  If you want to find out more about the book, click on the title.


Write down the call number. As mentioned above, the call number is used to locate the book on the shelves. You can ask a librarian to help you locate the book on the shelf.


Use the tips below when using the catalog.

Adjacency Multiple words are searched together as one phrase.
Example : world health organization
Wildcards Words may be right-hand truncated using an asterisk. ‘*’ for 1-5 characters, ‘**’ for open-ended truncation, ‘?’ to replace a single character anywhere within a word.
Examples : environment* polic*, comput**, wom?n
Boolean Operators Use “and” or “or” to specify multiple words in any field, any order. Use “and not” to exclude words.
Example : stocks and bonds
Example : (alaska or canada) and (adventure and not vacation)
Proximity Operators Use “near” to specify words close to each other, in any order.
Example : california near university
Field limits A field limit causes the system to search only the specified field for the specified word(s).So if you know the author or the title of a book, select the Author or Title field.If you want to explore a subject, select the Subject field
Grouping Keyword search results are usually grouped by relevance to bring the most likely titles to the top of the list. Each group represents a similar level of relevance and results are sorted within the group by date or title. To get an ungrouped result set, use boolean operators to form a complex query.

Also, if a book seems relevant to what you are looking for, click on the subject to find more sources.