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Find Books: Books: The Basics

A guide to finding books at Knox. This guide covers the library catalog, I-Share, and Interlibrary Loan (ILLiad)

Finding Books

Books can be great resources for your research, especially if you want a longer and more in-depth treatment of a broad topic. It can take quite awhile for a book to be written, edited, and published, so books likely aren't the best source for finding the information on a very recent current event or scholarly development. If you're looking for the most up-to-date scholarly developments on a topic, look for journal articles instead.

The Knox College library provides access to over 300,000 volumes, and the collection is drastically expanded by the library's relationships with other libraries in Illinois and the U.S. These relationships allow students to borrow books from other libraries that aren't at Knox.

Collections at Knox

Most of the books at Knox College are held in Seymour Library, but many of the science and math books are at Kresge Science-Mathematics Library located in SMC. No matter the location, all the books at Knox can be searched using the library catalog.

The majority of books at the Knox College Library are classified with Library of Congress call numbers, though a small collection of older materials still have Dewey Decimal call numbers. If you're not familiar with the Library of Congress call number system, you can view a quick video tutorial to learn the basics.

By setting up a library account in the catalog, you can keep track of your checked out books and renew online. For more information on creating your library account, see the library account tab of this guide.

I-Share Libraries

The Knox College Library is a member of I-Share, a group of 85 (mostly) academic libraries in Illinois. Our affiliation with I-Share allows Knox students to borrow books from all other I-Share libraries, including places like the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Searching and requesting books from I-Share is a simple and streamlined process since the catalog is connected to the Knox Library catalog. This means that you can begin your search in the Knox catalog and then expand your results to see all I-Share libraries, and vice versa. Requesting books from I-Share is free and simple -- all you need is to set up your library account!

Interlibrary Loan & ILLiad

If a book you're looking for isn't available at Knox or at another I-Share library, the next step is to request the book using the library's ILLiad system. This is also a free service for students and it prompts library staff to search beyond I-Share for materials. For more information on using ILLiad to request books not at Knox or in I-Share, see the Books via ILLiad tab of this guide.

3 Steps

So, when searching for books, remember to follow these 3 steps:

  1. Search the Knox College Library catalog
  2. Can't find it at Knox? Search I-Share
  3. Not in I-Share either? Submit an ILLiad request

For more information on each of these steps, navigate this guide using the tabs above.