How to find your textbooks in the library

It’s the #1 most frequently asked question at the Research & Information Desk at the start of every semester. This LibGuide will help you explore all your options for getting textbooks. To find out if you can get your textbooks at the library, follow the steps below.

Figuring out which book you need – EXACTLY which book – is the first step. To do this, go to the online schedule of classes and find your class. Click on “Book List.”

Book List for POLS 3530

A new window will pop up, taking you to the bookstore. You will need to click the green button to do comparison shopping. The books for your course will appear in a list on the left side of the screen.

Books for POLS 3530

You can use the title and author to look up the book, but the ISBN is the best way to find the EXACT EDITION you need for your class. Copy the ISBN of the book.

Go to the library’s home page and paste the number into the Summon search box.

Summon search

If our library owns the book, you will be able to see its call number and where it is located.

Book on reserve

If no results are found, click on the “Search OhioLINK” link at the top of the screen.

Search OhioLINK

Your results page will look like this. Click the “start over” button.

OhioLINK search

Choose the “Other Numbers” search and paste your ISBN into the first search box.

Other numbers

If the book you need is available in another library, click on the green “Request” button and use your BGSU username and password to request it.



If your book doesn’t have an ISBN, or you want to see if an older edition is available, use the Summon or OhioLINK advanced search screens to search by title and author.

OhioLINK advanced search

If you can find one of your books from the library or OhioLINK, you will not be able to keep it the entire semester. You may need to photocopy or scan a chapter, then return the book, or you may need to re-request it. You may find it more convenient to buy the required books for some of your classes even if you can check them out from the library.

As always, if you have questions, Ask Us!

2 thoughts on “How to find your textbooks in the library

  1. I’ve also noticed that there will be a button at the top of the list of options for buying a book that says either “available from your local library” (if BGSU has it or “Available at a partner library” (if someone else in OhioLINK has it). If that button is there, click to go to the OhioLINK catalog to place a request for the book.

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