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This guide serves as a starting point for locating and evaluating information for English.

Library Research Guide

Find Books in Search It & WorldCat

Search It

Use Search It to find books owned by K-State Libraries.

Enter title, author, or keywords in the Search It box on the Libraries home page.

Title search in Search It box on library home page


Click the K-State Libraries only option on the search results page to only see items owned by K-State.


search options for term "aristotle and dante"

If we own the title, Search it will tell you where it is and how you can find it. Many titles are not immediately available due to Hale's fire. Follow the links to request the book from another library (this is interlibrary loan.)

  • Some books are e-books and may link to a database instead of showing a call number and location. Follow the links to view the book.
  • When you find a relevant book, follow the links for Subjects (under Details) to find similar books.
  • When you find a relevant book, look for the Virtual Browse feature at the bottom of the book's record in Search It. This will show you the books that would be shelved next to the one you are looking at. Books shelved next to each other often have similar topics.



Use the database WorldCat to find books owned by libraries around the world. Usually we can borrow a copy from another library for you through Interlibrary Loan.


Search for author and book title in WorldCat

In both Search It and WorldCat, use broad search terms like the author, title of the work, or genre. They do not search the full text of a book, just information about the book.

How to Read a Call Number

Every book in the library has a call number, and you'll need the whole number to find one on the shelf. 

Find Original Works

When searching for an original work or text, like Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, you will often see false hits such as works with similar titles or criticisms of the work. 

Use these strategies to focus your results in order to find the actual text of the work:

Search for an original work with an author

Search It

Use the Advanced Search screen to limit your search terms to fields like Author or Title.

Click the K-State Libraries only tab to limit your results to materials owned by K-State Libraries.

For example, when searching for a copy of Much Ado About Nothing, entering Shakespeare in the Author/Creator field means that the only results you will see must have Shakespeare as the author.

Search It Advanced Search using title and author fields

Pro tip: Shakespeare still gets author credit for films and musical works based on his writing, so you may still see false hits, just fewer of them.


The author and title options appear on the basic search screen, the screen that appears when WorldCat opens.

Use quotation marks around a title of a work to force WorldCat to search it as an exact phrase.

For example, when searching for James Baldwin's Go Tell it on the Mountain

  • Enter Baldwin as the author
  • Enter "Go tell it on the mountain" as the title.

Worldcat featuring an author and title search


Search for anonymous original works

In Search It and WorldCat, use the title search and add a keyword or two to describe a unique feature of the work.

For example, when searching for The Pearl, add the term middle English to your search. Also try the term Gawain, as the author is sometimes referred to as Gawain Poet.

Search It Advanced Search for The Pearl

Find Specific Editions or Translations

When searching for a specific edition or translation of a work, add the editor, translator, or series title to your search.

For example, if you are searching for the Yale Shakespeare edition of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing in Search It:

  • use the Advanced Search screen
  • click on the K-State Libraries only tab
  • Enter: Shakespeare as the author/creator, Much Ado About Nothing as the title, and Yale Shakespeare in the third box, keeping the any option

Search for a specific edition of a book in Search It

  • There are 20 versions of Much Ado About Nothing grouped together. Click on the tab View 20 versions.

Link to view all versions of a title in Search It

  • The versions are shown with the most recently published at the top of the list. Click Sorted by: and select Relevance

Sorted by option in Search It

The sought for edition should appear at the top of the results list.

Find Books in Special Collections

Search It box showing a search for cookery

Step 1. To locate materials in Special Collections, enter your search term.

Search Results

Step 2. Change the tab at the top to "K-State Libraries Only." Limit search to Special Collections and University Archives.

Complete results

That's It!  This search yielded 2,121 results located in the Morse Department, 506 Hale Library.