Books will give you background information and an overview on what you are researching. You need this information in order to provide context.
Books at Cal State San Marcos
Search our local collection of about 250,000 books.
Search the collections of other San Diego area libraries -- about 3,000,000 books. Find and request books directly online; pick them up at our Library in 1-3 days.
Search the collections of libraries world-wide -- about 52,000,000 books. Find a book in this database, and fill-out an Interlibrary Loan delivery request. Book will be delivered to Library for pickup.
Subject headings are words and phrases specifically created to tell you what a book is about. Often they are not words and phrases that you would automatically come up with on your own, so it is helpful to figure out which ones have been used to describe works that deal with your research topic.
One way to do this is to perform a keyword search in the library catalog:
Locate a relevant item in the library catalog and click on the title to view the record.
Look in the blue and gray box on the right side of the screen, these are the Library of Congress Subject Headings for this item. Alternatively, you can click on the “Description” tab to see the full record and the subject headings near the top.
Click on a subject heading link to view an alphabetical list of subject headings.
Click on a subject heading in this list to view a list of other items that have been assigned the same subject heading.
Watch this short video for a demonstration of using subject headings to find library materials:
So, what's the difference between searching by keyword and searching by subject headings?
Searching by keyword will return all results that include your search terms anywhere in the item record.
Searching by subject will only return those results that have been tagged with that specific word or phrase as a subject heading.
Last Update: 06 Jun 16:00