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POL 399: Politics and Resistance: Books

Browsing for Books

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.

  • H Social Sciences (General)
  • HA Statistics
  • J Political Science
    • J 1-981 Official Documents
    • JC Political Theory
    • JF 201-723 Organs and Functions of Government
    • JF 800-1191 Political Rights and Guaranties
    • JF 1321-2112 Government--Administration
    • JF 2011-2112 Political Parties
    • JK United States
    • JL British America, Latin America
    • JN Europe
    • JQ Asia. Africa. Australia. Oceania
    • JS Local Government
    • JX International relations
  • K Law

Catalog Search Box

Search for Books, Music, Videos & More

Advanced search · Books, videos, and music

More Options

Use these options to explore books beyond the Gustavus Library.  

  • The library catalog easily connects you with books at other libraries. Books from our library are listed first, and then books from other libraries. Simply pay attention to which library owns the book. If it's not us, click the title of the book, which takes you into a screen where you can request it from another library. You'll be prompted to sign in with your Gustavus user name & password (if you're not already signed in) and you can easily place the request. 

Using Books Effectively

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!)

  • Read the table of contents 
  • Read the book's introduction/first chapter AND conclusion/last chapter - these present and highlight the main arguments
  • The end of chapter one will often provide a roadmap for the rest of the book
  • Skim chapter headings
  • Browse the index

Find Books in Our Library

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:

  • General Collection - call numbers starting A - PQ are on the third (top) floor. Call numbers PR - Z are on the second (main) floor
  • Oversize - third floor, Beck Hall side
  • Reference - second floor, Beck Hall side
  • Browsing - second floor, right by the couches near the entrance
  • Children's - first (bottom) floor, Olin hall side
  • Young Adult - first floor, Olin hall side
  • Audio Visual - first floor, Chapel side
  • Government Documents - first floor, Beck Hall side (note: these are not arranged by call number, although the SuDoc number you see in the catalog works like a call number)
  • Periodicals - first floor; recent titles are located next to Audio Visual. Older issues are located throughout the rest of the floor. Journals and magazines are alphabetized by title, not by call number
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