The library catalog's default search setting is set to keyword.
Begin by identifying the key words in the question or the subject you wish to find materials for. Here is an example:
I am looking for books relating to themes of ethnicity in postcolonial literature.
Begin by identifying important words in the question.
ethnicity AND postcolonial literature
Go to the library catalog to perform the keyword search. Remember to think about different terms (synonyms) which may prove to be more effective during the search process. Ethnicity, for instance may be changed to, or searched in conjunction with related keywords such as ethnic identity.
You will probably also want to focus on a specific work or works (a poem, book, or play, for example) or on the works of a specific author or authors once you have done some more background research. Once you have found a work or an author to focus on, you can also search for literary criticism related specifically to those authors or works.
Using the author as a keyword search will find books both by and about Salman Rushdie, for example.
Things Fall Apart
Using the title as a keyword search will find both that book or work, as well as books containing criticism of Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart, for example.
If you know the call number of the book you are looking for, you can use it to find similar materials. Searching by call number allows you to go directly to a book's bibliographic record, while gaining the ability to search the shelves virtually from the comfort of your own desk or home.
Every item in the library has been assigned a call number. These numbers tell us the subject area of the material, the location of the item in the library, and the physical order of the books on the shelf. It is these numbers that allow you to see all of the titles of the books located next to the searched item on the shelf.
Give it a try!
Go to the library catalogue and search by the call number PS3554.A5815 F37
As you can see, this call number is associated with the novel The Farming of Bones by Edwidge Danticat.
To find books and other materials about Postcolonial Literature, you may want to browse these subject areas in the Library stacks.
In Library of Congress Classification, Postcolonial Literature does not have its own subclass; however, you can find Postcolonial literature under a variety of sub-classes.
Languages and literatures of Eastern Asia, Africa, Oceania: This subclass also contains works of literature by or about authors of African Literature.
Literature (General): This subclass also contains works of literature by or about authors of Postcolonial Literature.
6066-6069 Special classes of authors.
English Literature: This subclass also contains works of literature by or about authors of Postcolonial Literature.
8309-9680....English literature: Provincial local, etc.
American Literature: This subclass also contains works of literature by or about authors of Postcolonial Literature.