Shatford Library

Shatford Library

Finding Fiction

1. Library Catalog - Find Books and Other Library Resources

The Library Catalog is a database of books, media and course reserves located in the library's collection. To find resources in the library by subject, you will need a call number which is based on the Dewey Decimal or Library of Congress Classification System and leads you to the specific item on the shelf. To find the call number, use the Library Catalog. (

Basic Search

Use the Basic Search to look for an item using keyword anywhere or in a specific field (eg. title field or subject field). To find information about a person, use the Subject tab and type the person’s name (last name, first).  To find information on a topic, you can use your keyword search results to identify library subject headings or you can select the Subject tab and type in a library subject heading.

Search for collections of specific types of fiction (genres) using 'Subject Search', then type in the subject heading. You can also type 'Fiction' and then select from the list of related terms.

Examples of subject headings:

  • Detective and mystery stories
  • Fantasy fiction
  • Ghost stories
  • Horror tales
  • Love stories
  • Political fiction
  • Religious fiction
  • Romances
  • Science fiction
  • Short stories
  • Spy stories

To search for a title you have two options: 1. select title from the drop down menu (to search by title keyword) or 2. select from the drop down menu title browse, to search by exact title wording. (Skip the first word of the title if it is an article, e.g. 'a', 'an' or 'the')

To search by author, select the Author tab, then type in the author's last name, then first name, e.g. 'Hemingway, Ernest'


Advanced Search

Advanced Search is used to combine topics, select search fields, and use other limitors to narrow a search.    You may want to search for an item using part of a title and selecting the title field from the drop down menu.  Another option is to search by ISBN.

Examples of combined searches:

Search for: colonial history[all of these words], Search in: [Subject]
Search for: fiction [all of these words], Search in: [Subject]

Search for: mystery [all of these words], Search in: [Subject]
Search for: London [all of these], Search in: [Keyword anywhere]

[Top of Page]

2. More fiction finding strategies

Browse the shelves for novels (fiction). They are located in the 800s, on the 3rd floor, arranged by nationality of the author. The newer fiction titles are located on the 2nd (main) floor of the library in the Library of Congress (LC) Section PN.

813 American 891.7 Russian
823 English 895.1 Chinese
833 German 895.6 Japanese
843 French 895.7 Korean
853 Italian 896 African
863 Spanish 897 Native North Americans

Paperbacks (PB)

This collections is located on the main floor of the library across from the Circulation Desk. The location is listed in the catalog as 'Second Floor Paperbacks' .

Foreign Language Fiction

  • Use 'Title Search' and enter: [Name of language] language text fiction. For example: Spanish language text fiction.
  • Use 'Subject Search' and enter: English fiction
  • Use 'Subject Search' and enter: Chinese fiction - Translations into English
  • Use 'Subject Search' and enter: German language readers - Fiction

Ethnic Literature

English language books written by an author of a particular ethnic group. Ethnic literature is found using 'Basic Search', 'Subject Search': American (or English) literature ethnic group authors. For example: American literature Asian American authors. Another example: English literature Irish authors.

Books on Tape, Audiocassettes, and CDs

Find by browsing the Oversize Audio Visual collection on the main floor, North of the reference collection. Look under the same call numbers used to locate books.


To find literary criticism (writing about a work of fiction) you can search by subject (author's last name, first name) and select entries with the subheading 'Criticism and interpretation'. Example: Updike, John - Criticism and interpretation. For further help finding criticism use the Literature Criticism guide. ( OR ask a reference librarian for assistance.

Browse the reference collection (main floor) in REF 016.823 where bibliographies are shelved that list fiction by type (genre). Look specifically in Wilson's Fiction Catalog to find books published in the United States, Canada or the United Kingdom, listed by author, title and subject.

[Top of Page]

3. Resources on the World Wide Web

Finding reliable information on the web can be difficult.
Use the ipl2 site or see the recommended websites below.

Bookspace: find a good book
FictionFinder (beta site)
Overbooked: a resource fro omnivorous readers
[Top of Page]

last updated: 06/15/2011 by A. Dallavalle, P. Johnson revision #3