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New to Using the Library

Top tips for using the library
How to Search for Stuff

Using Library Search – the big search box on the homepage – allows you to search for books, journals, articles, DVDs (and more) that the library owns.

For more detailed searching for articles on your topic or subject, we recommend using subject databases.

How to Find Books on the Shelf

The Claremont Colleges Library uses the Library of Congress Classification System. A Library of Congress call number will contain a combination of letters and numbers, and will typically end with a four-digit year. For example, QL737.P2 C35 2011.

You will find the call number for an item in the Library Catalog, directly from your results page. The record will tell you:

A) If the item is available for check out, and if not, when its due back to the library
B) Where the item is physically located in the library (in this example, 1st floor of Mudd)
C) The call number, which is like the item’s address on the shelf

screen shot of a call number in the catalog

The call number in the catalog is written left to right. The books on the shelf have the call numbers written top to bottom.

LB
Find the shelf with the LBs. Read the 1st line in alphabetical order: J, K, L, LB, M…

2395
Read the 2nd line as a whole number: 1, 2, 3, 32, 100, 101, 2000, 2395

.T848
First read the 3rd line alphabetically. Then read the following number as a decimal: .C51, .D49, .T844, .T848

2000
The last line is the year and is read in chronological order: 1989, 1992, 2000, 2016…

How to Check Stuff Out

Once you’ve found what you’re looking for and want to check it out, you use your campus ID card as your library card. You can check items out at:

  • the main services desk on the 2nd floor of Mudd
  • the services desks at the north and south entrances
  • the self-checkout stations in the cafe and at the main services desk

You can renew your items through your library account by clicking View Library Account on the top of the library website. Login to view the items you have checked out and renew.

Find Spaces for Solo Studying and/or Group Projects

For group work, you may want to check out:

  • The Collaborative Commons, 2nd floor of Honnold
  • Group study spaces, 3rd and 4th floors of Honnold (must be reserved)
  • Study cubes, 2nd floor of Mudd (just behind the Main Services Desk)

The 4th floor is the designated quiet floor. Please use the 4th floor if you want a silent work area.

Check out our spaces page for detailed information about all of the study space available in The Claremont Colleges Library and to reserve a group study space.

Get Help With Your Research

Do you need some help knowing where to start your research? Our Subject Librarians have curated Research Guides to help you find the best resources in your discipline or subject.

If you want more hands-on help with research, make an appointment with our librarians.

A few of the most commonly-used interdisciplinary databases are:

Looking for databases specific for your subject? Or databases for a specific format like newspapers or videos? Use our database directory.

Find Books You Need for Class

Textbook prices got you down? The library has a course readings section, where you can borrow the books assigned for your classes for up to 4 hours at a time. Course Readings are located on the 2nd floor of Mudd, next to the Main Services Desk.

You can look up the books you need in Library Search to make sure we have it, and to see if they are currently checked out.

Staff are available at the service desks to answer you questions.

Find Books to Read for Fun

Use Library Search to discover items you wish to read! You can also browse our popular reading collection which includes current bestsellers from our Braxton Collection found on the 2nd floor of Mudd, across from the Main Services Desk. While you are there, grab a zine or graphic novel.

Borrow Equipment in Tech Lending

The library has cameras, audio recorders, virtual reality devices, computer equipment, GPS units, and related accessories that are available to check out. Check out what we have available at Tech Lending.

Can't Find What You Need? We Can Get It For You!

Have you found a book, article, or book chapter that you just need to have for your project or assignment, but we don’t have it? Fear not! Resource Sharing (sometimes called Interlibrary Loan or ILL) is a service offered by The Claremont Colleges Library to get what you need by borrowing it for you from another library. It doesn’t cost you anything, and you get your items fast!

You can request items through Resource Sharing when you see the GET THIS ITEM button in the item’s record in the catalog. Or, you can submit a request using a form in your Resource Sharing account.

What's So Special About Special Collections?

Special Collections is where you can find distinctive and unique resources for study and research. Within the many collections housed in Special Collections, you can find rare books, maps, and manuscripts as well as photographs, ephemera, posters, college archives, and more. You will also find collections available for research, teaching, and study at the Asian Library and the Ella Strong Denison Library at Scripps College.

Students come to Special Collections on class field trips to examine and use primary sources for their course assignments and research projects. Many also explore its numerous resources on their own or decide to use the unique resources found in Special Collections for their theses or dissertations. They can also view and engage with our rotating exhibitions, on view in the North Lobby of the library, and attend related exhibition programming, or browse our digital collections. Students interested in furthering their engagement with rare books and archives are welcome to apply for work in Special Collections or apply for a Center for Engagement with Primary Sources (CCEPS) Fellowship.

Explore our website, visit us during our open hours, or contact Special Collections for more information.

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