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Research 101 (older version): I want to find books, articles, or videos

Creating effective keywords


(1) Go to OneSearch.  OneSearch searches through many kinds of documents, including books, magazines, academic journals, newspapers, videos, and more. 

(2) You can search by title, author’s name, or keywords (for more on creating effective keywords, please see the video on the right).   

OneSearch home

(3). You can choose the kind of thing you want under “resource type”.

For example, for books, click on “books” under “resource type” . Note that choosing "books" will include both physical books you hold and electronic books, or ebooks.

Onesearch filter for books

OneSearch physical vs ebook

If you only want physical books, the "items currently on shelf" filter will eliminate most electronic books. Please note that we may have more ebooks than physical books on the subject, so unless you really need a physical book for some reason, you may not want to limit your options!  

Click here to learn more about navigating through ebooks.

Items currently on shelf 1 vs 630

The call number of a physical book will look like this:

Call number in OneSearch

OneSearch reserve result

  • "Stacks" means that the book is on the shelves downstairs in the large reading room of the library.
  • "Reserves" means that the book is upstairs - reserves books are in the room with the photocopiers and can be borrowed for two hours. This is because these books (usually textbooks) must be read by everyone in your class at the same time, so in order for everyone to get a chance to use the book, the loan period is short.

See below for more on using call numbers to find your book.

If you want to look for articles next, clear the "book" filter.

What kind of article?

  • For reference resources, which give a broad overview, click the "reference resources" filter (if you don't see it on the list, click "show more" to see more categories.)
  • For newspaper articles, which report on events as they happen, click "newspaper articles"
  • For a broad range of articles, which includes magazine articles written for a general audience, click "articles" 
  • For peer-reviewed (sometimes called scholarly or academic) articles, which are highly detailed reports, usually on original research, written by experts for an audience of experts, click "peer-reviewed journals"

If you're not sure which kind of articles would help you most at this stage in your research, see "understanding where to search" or "what kind of sources should I use?"

 list of resources - show more               different kinds of articles

How to use a call number

Libraries arrange books by call number. The call number is connected to the subject of the book. (The difference between call number and ISBN numbers is that ISBN used by booksellers and has to do with where a book was published, the publishing company, and the title of the book, but has no connection to the book's content.)

PRO TIP: Because books are arranged by subject, it's a great habit to BROWSE the shelves, as books on similar subjects will be close to each other.

In OneSearch, the call number will look like this:

screenshot of onesearch result with call number circled

On the book itself, the call number will look like this:   call number label

The books in the stacks (downstairs in the large reading room) are arranged from A to Z as follows:

library map with call number directions

1. Looking for your book's call number, always start at the TOP of the label and work your way down line by line.

Let's say this is your call number:   call number label

  • You can see from the map above that "G" books will be on your left side.
  • Look at the blue cards that show you which books are on which shelves. (Unfortunately, a couple rows are hidden by the stairs, but you can tell where you are in the alphabet by the shelves before and after the stairs).
  • The "G" section will start with G, then go to GA, GB, and so on.
  • first set of call numbers
  • Since you've found the GV books, look at the second line of your number. Remember that call numbers are read line by line
  • So for example, GV 100 will always come before GV 200, no matter what other numbers or letters you see below those top two lines.
  • second set of call numbers
  • You can see that since your call number is GV 1624, it should be in the row marked by the second blue card.
  • Now look at the third line. These are always in alphabetical order

So for example,




will always come before




no matter what you see below those three lines. 

Helpful links

This page will show you how to search for books, articles, and videos at Hostos Library.

For more on what kinds of books we have, or how to use e-books, please see "what about using books for research?"

For more on buying textbooks, please see:

For more info about our audio-visual and video collections, please see our AV guide.

Want more info on VIDEOS?

This page will show you how to SEARCH for many kinds of materials in OneSearch, including videos.

For much more detailed info about our audio-visual and video collections, see our AV guide.

Go back to finding and evaluating sources

 Finding research sources Evaluating research sources

Return to getting started

Go back to getting started


library does not have item I wantwebsite is asking me to pay for article

my searches are not helping me find what I wantthese do not describe my need