PHE 541 Media Advocacy & Public Health: Find Books

What is a subject heading?

Subject headings are a formalized way of of searching library catalogs. The right subect heading can help you get to information more quickly.

For example, nutrition can be described using the following terms:

  • nutrition
  • diet
  • eating habits

You could search the library catalog for all those keywords. Or, use one subject heading to find all of the library's materials about nutrition, e.g. search using just the term "nutrition."

Who determines subject headings? The Library of Congress. Copies of the complete set of the Library of Congress Subject Headings are available at the Reference Desk.

Browse for Books

Sometimes browsing the library stacks can help you find books you didn't even know you were looking for. The following are good areas to peruse. 

HV: Social pathology, social and public welfare, criminology

QM: Human anatomy

QP: Physiology

R: Medicine

RA: Public aspects of medicine

RC: Internal medicine

RM: Therapeutics, pharmacology

RS: Pharmacy and materia medica

RT: Nursing

Maps of the library are available at the 2nd floor Reference Desk, elevator lobbies, and also online.

eBook Collections

We collect eBooks whenever possible. Records for eBooks look like this:e book online access link

We also have a number of eBook collections that you can browse. They are listed below.

Find Books by Subject

After you execute a search in the Portland State Library catalog, click on the "books" facet to limit your search results to only books. Click on "eBooks" to limit your results to eBooks.limit options

After you find a useful book, scroll down to the "Details" heading to find the book's "Subjects." Here you'll find a list of related subjects that you might consider adding to your search. You can also click on a subject link in the record, e.g. clicking on "Community health services" would bring up a list of all the Library's books, journals, etc. on that topic.  

Subject links in a book record

Subjects in Community Health
Aging Dietetics Epidemiology Exercise
Environmental Health Gerontology Global Health Health
Health Education Health Policy Health Promotion Human Physiology
Mental Health Nursing Nutrition Physical Fitness
Physical Therapy Public Health Public Health -- Social Aspects Well-Being

To modify your search to include a useful subject, first go to the Advanced Search.

Advanced Search

Here you can type in your desired subject and be sure to specify you want to search the "in subject" field.

Advanced subject search