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Graduate Students' Guide to the UWM Libraries: Searching

A guide to library resources for grad students

Using Search@UW

Searching the Catalog can be a bit daunting. If you use the search box on the front of the Libraries' website, called Search@UW, you will get results from ALL of the UW campuses. In order to limit to what we have physically, use the drop-down menu to limit to only those items UWM owns:


Click the GO button

This can also be done from the search box inside the library website:


limit dropdown box

To limit further, you can use the Advanced Search

Click for Advanced Search

And then select your parameters

Advanced Search Options

You can set your search type

and tell the system how you want it to search and don't forget about the other options


To sign in to your account so that you can renew materials or make requests from other UW libraries, look in the upper right corner for the 'Sign in' or 'My Account' links.



You'll see this and login with your ePantherID/PW

and you'll see the, by now, familiar screen


To see what you have checked out, any fines you have, requests you've made from other campuses, etc. Click on My Account

and you'll see this



Location, Location, Location ! ! !

Make sure that you look carefully at the catalog and identify where in the Libraries the item is located. An item might be in the general stacks, the reference collection, folio, compact storage, or even microforms. You don't want to go looking in the wrong place for an item.

The default search includes all UW library holdings in the results, so be sure to click on LOCATION to verify it it is here at UWM or if you need to submit a request through the catalog to have it sent here from another UW campus (takes 2-3 days, generally).

Your Personal Record --

Renew your materials, see if you owe fines, check to see if a recalled item is available.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Which library resource is best?

It depends on the research needs, which vary with the project, subject, and other factors.

If you    
... need articles from journals on a particular topic, try the Databases A-Z link, or the Databases by Subject links on the Libraries’ home page. See Articles, Journals, Databases for more ideas.
... have a citation to a particular article,

use the E-journals list or Citation Linker  to locate a copy of it.

....need books or other items in the collection, use the Search@UW, to look for most print materials as well as e-books, documents, DVDs, music and more. See Books and Media for details.

Be sure to go to journals/databases/publisher sites through UWM web pages to gain the most access.

Why use an article database when I can go through the publisher web site?

Two important reasons:

more journal access and more powerful search capabilities.

  • When you search the databases through the UWM web site, you are automatically linked to the print and online journal collections held by the UWM Libraries through GetIt [FindIt]. For the articles we don't have, Interlibrary Loan is about as fast as buying them and a lot cheaper!
  • Databases almost always have more robust searching capabilities than publisher websites. The premier databases in a field such as PsycInfo for psychology or Medline in the health sciences,  allow you to search through all the important journals in the subject-- regardless of publishers

Look for the symbol to help you locate a copy of your article. is also available in Google Scholar. (Choose UWM from the Library options in your Scholar Preferences.)

Module 3- Explore

How do I find a call number on the shelf?

Follow these steps when you're looking for a book on the shelf.

  1. Find the correct letter combination. L comes before LA on the shelves.
  2. Look for the number - be sure to look for the whole number. 19 comes before 23 and 23 comes before 2340 (two thousand three hundred forty).
  3. In the last line, first locate the letter and then the decimal. .M371 will come before .M38

This image shows the order in which some sample call numbers would appear: L 19. M322, LA 23. M38, LA 2340. M371, LA 2340. M38

How do I find a book's call number?

  1. Find the call number in the record (it is a series of numbers and letters).
  2. Use the building directory to match the first letter of the call number to the correct floor.

This screen grab shows Search@UW record for a book, highlighting the call number

This screen grab shows part of the Library's building directory, highlighting the call number floor key for locating the book.

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