Search our online catalog, MnPALS, to find books, electronic books, and government documents to support your research. You'll want to take advantage of tools within the book (i.e., the Index and/or Table of Contents) to find where your topic is mentioned in the book and you can focus your research on those pages. Same thing for an electronic book, although you'll have one more tool to use; you can do a full-text search of the book for your term(s) and it will take you right to those pages. Very handy!
Keep in mind when you're searching in the catalog that while you may start your search with a narrow topic, if you don't have luck, you'll want to broaden your search. Don't give up! For example, if you start with childhood obesity school lunch as the main keywords for your topic, you won't have great results in the online catalog. That doesn't mean there aren't resources that could be useful, though, you just need to try a different (broader) search to look for them. For example, you might try just childhood obesity and then browse those resources to see if they talk about the impact of school lunch on that issue. If you didn't find enough that way, you could either go to an even broader search and try obesity or you could move your emphasis to school lunch and look for obesity in those sources.
Remember if you get too many results, you can add another search term or take advantage of the Subject terms off to the left on your results page. Sometimes in the online catalog it is useful to start broad - then narrow. Remember that you might not find an entire book on your specific topic, but it might be a chapter or a section in a book that discusses your topic.
When you look at the record in MnPALS, you'll want to pay close attention to areas in order to find the book in our library or online:
LOCATED - This will tell you what floor the item is on or if it is an electronic copy (Internet Resource or eBook)
CALL NO. -- For books and government documents, you'll want to write down the entire call number to find it in the stacks.
ONLINE ACCESS -- Use the link to the Internet Resource or the eBook.
Here is a shortcut to searching the MnPALS catalog.
This is one example of a book you will find in our Library. You need to know which floor it is on (4th) and the call number (RC628 .P496 2010) to find the book on the shelves.
If you find an eBook in your search results, you won't find that on the 4th floor! Instead, you can access it from any computer or download it to your personal device (such as an iPad).