Books are shelved in general subject categories using the Library of Congress classification system. You may want to supplement your use of the catalog with browsing shelf areas for your topic. Below is a brief listing of some of the subject locations in the field of Political Science.
Use these options to explore books beyond the Gustavus Library.
Sometimes people shy away from books because they are longer to read than a journal article. While this might be true, there are some tricks you can use to understand a book's structure and argument, so you DON'T have to read the whole thing. (Don't worry - this is totally legit!)
To locate books and other items on the shelves in our library, you need to know the item's call number and what collection it's in.
Let's start with the call number, which is easier to locate. When you're searching the library catalog & looking at a list of results, the call number will be listed directly under the heading that says (fortunately) call number. It will be a string of letters and numbers.
All items have a unique call number. The Library of Congress system that we use in this library groups books according to subject, so you can browse shelves to find books on a similar subject.
All items are also housed in various library collections (which the catalog sometimes calls location). The item's purpose and format determines what collection it's in. To determine your item's collection, look at the location information for your item in the catalog. (Note: if you click on the title of an item in the catalog, you can find the location/collection right below the blue login bar.
Now that you have both the location and the call number, you can find your item. You can read more about how call numbers work - they take a little getting used to. Here's a list of locations and where to find them: