Use the MnPALS catalog to search for books, electronic books, and government documents at SMSU...and look beyond our collection if needed (See Searching for Resources at Other Colleges box).
Many times students start with very narrow terms and do not have luck with searches in the online catalog. Often you need to think about broader terms related to your topic. For example, if you are researching the Victim Offender Reconciliation Program, a search for that specific program will not provide any/many results if the library doesn't have a resource that mentions that specific program by name in the record. However, conducting a search for victims of crimes will bring back a larger set of results. Yes, this may mean more to sift through (hopefully you can use the topic/subject facet to narrow your results down further), but be sure to keep in mind that your specific topic may only be mentioned in a chapter of the book. You may need to find the book on the shelves and use the Table of Contents or Index to see if your specific term is mentioned. That's part of the research process!
If you do not find a book in SMSU's collection, you are welcome and encouraged to borrow materials from other libraries. When searching in MnPALS, you'll want to change the drop-down menu that says Southwest Minnesota State University to All MnPALS Libraries (the very top choice in the list). This will enable you to see resources on your topic at libraries throughout Minnesota. Materials can be interlibrary loaned for your use.
Here is a shortcut to searching the MnPALS catalog.