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PHI 501

A guide to core research resources and approaches for philosophy grad students

Videos on using the WCU library catalog

Catalog basics


Requesting print books for pickup or mailing

Options for looking beyond the WCU catalog

WorldCat is a great resources, but its size and the number of people who import records into it can make it very messy and hard to search.  I think this has gotten significantly more problematic over the last few years.  If you are struggling with WorldCat, here are some other options.

    • pros:  really large catalog of catalogs, including tons of really old books; easy to see how widely held a book is; uses subject headings
    • cons:  the search interface is kind of terrible; often multiple, slightly different entries for a book or for different editions of  a book
    • pros:  familiar interface; will often give book previews/show table of contents
    • cons:  has an advanced search, but it isn't that good; does not use subject heading; lots of non-scholarly books show up
  • Google books
    • pros: familiar interface; best for book previews; often has full text of pre-1923 books (out of copyright); links to Worldcat (Find in a Library feature)
    • cons:  does not use subject headings; lots of non-scholarly books show up
  • Catalog of another university.  Most academic libraries still allow their catalogs to be searched by anyone.  So you can take a subject heading you found in the WCU catalog and try it in the catalog of a bigger and/or wealthier university (Harvard, Stanford, Princeton, UC-Berkele, etc.).
    • pros:  subject heading searching; less messy than WorldCat
    • cons:  unfamiliar interface, no way to quick check if WCU libraries own the book.

Direct book request through EZBorrow

While our databases link to ILLiad for book requests, EZBorrow is usually our faster system for requesting books. 

Step 1

A title search is usually the best for finding a specific book.  Putting in the full title will help you avoid confusion with other books with similar titles.  Using the pull-down menu to specify Title also helps.

Step 2

Look through the results for a match.  Keep an eye out for different editions.

Step 3

Log in to the system.

Book interlibrary through a database

Sometimes you will find a citation for a book in a database.  If that happens, it is  really easy to request.  It works just like requesting and article.

Step 1

First look for the "Full Text Finder" link.  If you don't see one, you should see a link that says "Request through Interlibrary Loan"  under the entry for the book.

Step 2

That link will take you into ILLiad, one of our interlibrary loan services.  Often, you will be logged in automatically. 

It will try to populate the fields directly from the database, but it is good to double check them.

Step 3:

If you can't pick up books from the library, look for the box to ask it to be mailed to you.

Then submit request.

West Chester University   ---    WCU Libraries  25 West Rosedale Avenue, West Chester, PA 19383  610-430-4400