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English 106/108: First-Year Composition

This guide has been created for students of English 106 and 108 to help them learn the Libraries' services and get help when they need it.


There are multiple libraries at Purdue, but you can search for books in one central place: the Libraries' Catalog. This will tell you where books are located, and if they're available to check out. 

If the Libraries don't own or provide online access to a book or article you want, log-in to InterLibrary Loan (ILL) to request the book from another library.

What's a Call Number?

The call number describes the book, starting with the broad discipline and ending with the very specific topic and author, so books on similar topics/by the same author are shelved together.

  • The Dewey Decimal System starts with numbers. Books are shelved in order from smallest to largest number.

Search Google Books

Most books available online (for free) are older titles - published before 1923 and in public domain. 

You could also use Google Books as a starting place, find a book you like, and then search in the Catalog to see if Purdue owns a copy.

Google Book Search

Using ebooks & ereaders

Using Primo Search for Books

Books search

1. At the Libraries search box, select Books & Media from the drop down.

2. Type in your search. You can search by keyword, title, or author.

3. The result list shows books and journals available both in-print and online.

4. Too many results? Not finding what you need? Refine your search with the options at the left.

Primo book search results

5. Click on the title to see more.

catalog record example

6. The "Request Options" shows the location, availibility, and status of the book.

  • If you need this book before the due date, you could choose "Request this resource via Interlibrary Loan" to see if we can get a copy from another university.

7. To find a library, search this campus map.