UNST High School Senior Inquiry: Books & eBooks

Why Use Books?

Books are great sources for information. 

In books, you will find:  

  • in-depth coverage of a subject
  • overview of a big topic
  • background information
  • lists of additional sources, or bibliography

You don't need to read a book cover to cover for research.  You can focus on a chapter or section of a book and use that instead. 

To determine which sections will be most useful to you, use the:

  • Table of contents at the front of the book.  This will list the chapters or sections that are included and give you a general idea of what topics are covered in the book and how it is arranged. 
  • Index at the back with an alphabetical list of names, events, locations, and subjects included in the book.  Use the index to identify which parts will be most useful.  It's also a good idea to browse the index for helpful keywords to use for your searches. 

Keep in mind, books can take a long time to go from an author's brain to the library shelf.  If you are looking for the most recent information on a very new topic, you might be better off using an article. 

Portland State University Library has both print and digital (eBooks) books for you to use.  Sometimes, we even have both print and digital versions of the same books!  

Evaluating Books

This 3 minute video from Weber State University explains how to evaluate books before using them for a research project.

Find Books and Ebooks in the Library Catalog Video

Find Books at the PSU Library

Search the PSU Library catalog for books. When you find a pertinent book with a green Available at PSU Library shelves link, select it or the title link for the full record. Write down the location and call number. To locate the call number on a floor map, select the link, View Map. Check out the book at the 1st floor Circulation Desk.

Catalog record PSU print book