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. To find out if you can get your textbooks at the library, follow the steps below.

What book do you need?

Figuring out which book you need – EXACTLY which book – is the first step. To do this, go to the online schedule of classes by clicking on the orange “Search for Classes” button on this page. Find your class. Click on “Book List.”

Book list

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.

Reading List

See if your book is on reserve

To see if your book is on reserve, use the “Reserves” search tab on the library’s home page and type in the title or title and author:


See if your book is in OhioLINK

To see if we have the book in our collection for checkout or if it is in OhioLINK, searching by ISBN is more effective. An ISBN search is the best way to find the EXACT EDITION you need for your class.

Copy the ISBN of the book from the list in the bookstore’s website. 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.


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


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!