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JOUR 4040/COMM 6040: Media History (Carrie Whitney, Fall 2023): Searching for Books

Start By Searching Our Library Catalog

Use GILFind or the "Library Catalog" link on the GSU Library's homepage to find books in the GSU Library and at University System of Georgia libraries. 

GILFind includes books and materials from ALL of the GSU campuses: Atlanta, Clarkston, Decatur, Dunwoody, Newton, and Alpharetta. In order to place a request for an item at any of these locations, sign in with your Campus ID and password, and then click on "Request" in the catalog record to begin the process. (You can request contact-free pickup from lockers -- at the top of the stairs by the Library North entrance -- for books from all of these locations). 

GILFind also lists other materials in the library - including microfilm, dissertations, movies, music and special collections.

GILFind now also lets you search all of the University System of Georgia library holdings at once. Just select "University System of Georgia" instead of "Georgia State University" in Simple Search, or in the "Search Scope" dropdown in Advanced Search. 

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"Help! I'm looking at an ebook and can't figure out how to download it!"

Check out our Ebooks research guide for information and instructions about how to access and download ebooks. Note that the answer will depend on the source of the ebook, so look for a vendor name like Ebook Central, eBooks on EBSCOHost, or Books 24x7 (for example) in the library catalog's information about the ebook. 

Use the Power of Subject Terms....

Books in libraries are assigned one or more subject headings. These are standardized terms that ensure books on the same topic can be found even if the keywords are different, as with Istanbul and Constantinople.

You can search in GILFind or WorldCatusing subject headings. 

  • In GILFind, use Advanced Search and select "in subject" in the dropdown box furthest to the left.
  • In WorldCat, use Advanced Search and select "Subject" in any of the dropdown boxes. 

When you find a good book, look at its subject headings in the catalog record. Follow these to list other items on that topic. Or, use the subject heading terms in a new keyword search.

These are broader categories that will turn up a range of results that you can browse through:

  • Nineteen sixties
  • Nineteen seventies
  • Nineteen fifties
  • United States History 1960-1969
  • United States History 1969-

Or, search for particular persons, places, events -- proper nouns are very helpful for searching

  • Black Power Movement
  • American Indian Movement
  • Kent State Shootings, Kent, Ohio, 1970
  • Jackson State College Shootings, Jackson, Mississippi, 1970
  • Schlafly, Phyllis
  • Vietnam Veterans Against the War
  • Democratic National Convention; (1968: Chicago, Ill.)
  • Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party

Or particular journalists:

  • Buckley, William F.
  • Stone, I. F.
  • Gornick, Vivian
  • (list goes on...)

... But Also Use Keyword Searches

If you don't select anything from the dropdown box next to the search box, you are doing a keyword search. Results will come from all of the field's in a book's record, including

  • title
  • author
  • subject terms
  • summary or abstract (if there is one; there may not be)
  • table of contents/chapter or section titles (if those are included in the record; they may not be)

A subject search on Phyllis Schlafly, for example, turns up a handful of books, but in order to find Catherine Rymph's book Republican Women: Feminism and Conservatism from Suffrage through the Rise of the New Right, which discusses Phyllis Schlafly at some length (along with a group of Republican feminists who disagreed with her), you have to do a keyword search on "Phyllis Schlafly," because she is only mentioned in the catalog record's summary of the book -- not the subject terms. 

Locker Pickup

  • You are able to check out print books and other materials (DVDs etc.) in person during library hours (for library hours, see our homepage:
  • You can also arrange for contact-free pickup of books and audiovisual materials from lockers located on Library North 1, just outside of the Library North exit (at the top of the stairs going down to the greenway). For more information about our locker pickup service, click here:

Desktop Delivery Service

If you come across an article or an essay/book chapter that the library only has in print, you can use our Desktop Delivery service to request an electronic version of the article or book chapter.

This service is currently available to all GSU faculty, students, and staff.* For information about how to place a Desktop Delivery request, click here

*Faculty, graduate students, and university administrators can also request electronic copies of materials that we have on microfilm. 

How to Find ebooks in GILFind

You can search for eBooks from all GSU library ebook databases in the GSU Library's GilFind catalog just as you would search for traditional print books. After you search, tweak your results to show only "full access online" and the "books" format to see only eBooks.

(Are you teaching? See a full description for embedding ebooks for course content).

Help! I've found an ebook in the library's catalog and I'm not sure how to download it!

Different providers (i.e. ProQuest, EBSCO, etc.) have different requirements. Check out our Ebooks research guide for information about how to read/download ebooks.

Search Other Library Catalogs

Start with our catalog at GILFind.

If GSU's library doesn't have what you need, you have, don't give up. There are several options to get the book you want:

GILFind will also let you search across all of the University System of Georgia Libraries - Select "University System of Georgia" instead of "Georgia State University" when searching in GILFind. You can check out books in person from any other University System of Georgia library with your Panthercard. You can also place a GIL Express request (click for information on starting a GIL Express request) to have a book from another USG school (or from another GSU campus) be sent to a GSU campus. (Please note that you cannot borrow ebooks from other USG Libraries, or from any other university libraries).

Emory - you can also borrow materials at Emory with your Panther Card. For current information about Emory University Libraries' print borrowing availability, consult their library directly. 

ARCHE - you can also borrow books from several local private colleges. Click here for a list of ARCHE schools. You may want to contact the library in advance to get further information about borrowing privileges (what kind of ID is needed, how long you can check out a book for, and so on). For current information about an ARCHE school's print borrowing availability, contact that school's library directly. 

Fulton County Library System - GSU students & faculty may obtain library cards from the Fulton County Library System, then borrow materials. For current information about print checkouts from Fulton County Library branches, consult the Fulton County Library System site directly. 

Use Interlibrary Loan to request books you find in WorldCat (below)
(or any other library catalog):

Still stuck? Ask a librarian for help.