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Basic Research Tools: Books

Last Updated: Aug 31, 2023 9:16 AM

Where is that book?

When using the Online Catalog, be sure to note the LOCATION and CALL# for any desired book. 

If it is in the Law Library, consult the Call Number Locator to discover the floor where it will be shelved.

If it's Not in the Law Library...

Use Delivery+ (Delivery Plus)
to have a book delivered to the Law Library for you.

This includes books and other materials located:
-on another UB campus
-in the Annex (UB off-site storage site)
-in another library anywhere

Get a Book UB Does not Own

SIGN UP FOR "Delivery+" (UB’s Inter-Library Loan Service) (formerly known as ILLIAD)

Use this service to order books, articles and other materials that are not available in the UB Law Library.

This service can also be used to have materials delivered from the Abbott Library (South Campus) and the Annex (off-campus storage).

Identify Books

Online catalogs to search for books (including e-books):

See more information in E-Books tab of this Guide.

Browse the Stacks

Browse the collection by Call#.

Start with one good book.
If you find one good book in the Online Catalog, note its call#. Walk to its location in the stacks (see location guide) and look at the other books on the shelf around it---you may find additional good books on a similar topic! (This is known as the serendipity technique!)

It is also possible to browse online the UB Libraries' collections by call number using "Browse Search."
NOTE: "Browse Search" will not retrieve "online books" or E-Books; it will retrieve materials physically in the UB Libraries.

Ever wonder what the call#s stand for?
The Library of Congress (LC) Classification Schedule shows the list of the call#s that are used to classify books by jurisdiction and subject.
Browse the call#s on the list to locate some that relate to your topic or jurisdiction of interest.
For example, see call#s that begin with K (Law) . Note there are many  subclasses:

K  Law in general. Comparative and uniform law. Jurisprudence
KB Religious law in general. Comparative religious law. Jurisprudence
  KBM Jewish law
  KBP Islamic law
  KBR History of canon law
  KBU Law of the Roman Catholic Church. The Holy See
KD-KDK United Kingdom and Ireland
KDZ America. North America
KE Canada (with further breakdown by province. KEO= Ontario)
KF United States (with further breakdown by state. KFN= New York)
KG Latin America - Mexico and Central America - West Indies. Caribbean area
KH South America
KJ-KKZ Europe
KL-KWX Asia and Eurasia, Africa, Pacific Area, and Antarctica
  KM  Asia. Middle East. Southwest Asia
  KN  Asia. South Asia. Southeast Asia. East Asia
  KP  Asia. South Asia. Southeast Asia. East Asia
  KQ  Africa
  KR  Africa
  KS  Africa
  KT  Africa
  KU  Pacific Area
  KV  Pacific Area
  KW  Pacific Area. Antarctica
KZ Law of nations (International Law)

Note: There are many books related to law in the Law Library and other libraries that have a call# not in the K (Law) class!

Do not rely solely on this method to locate books. Why?

1.Some resources do not have LC call#s. This includes:        
--- Some government documents that are arranged by a different numbering system.
--- Some books with "old" call#s, i.e., from an older classification system.
--- Some E-books that do not have call#s assigned to them

2. Some books are located elsewhere.
If you browse the books by call# in the "General Collection" of the Law Library you may miss:
---Books in other locations of the Law Library (e.g., Reference, Reserve, Special Collections, Koren AV...)
---Books in other UB Libraries (e.g., Lockwood Library)
---Books in off-site storage (The Annex) that do not have LC Call numbers
---Relevant books that have a different call# (i.e., not classified with a K call#)
---E-Books that are not on the shelf anywhere!

Subject Guide

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Law Reference Librarians
Charles B. Sears Law Library
O'Brian Hall (North Campus)
SUNY Buffalo
Buffalo, NY 14260