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Shelf Browser Versus Lola Browser : Finding Books in Biddle

November 02, 2011

You need to find books for a research paper on antitrust in baseball. Are you a Shelf Browser or a LOLA Browser? Do you find the area in the Biddle stacks where books on your topic are shelved and browse, making you a Shelf Browser? Or are you a LOLA Browser, searching for books using Biddle’s online catalog? While both methods will help you find relevant materials, if you only use the Shelf Browser method you may be missing important titles.

The ideal is to use both methods. There’s nothing wrong with browsing, and it can be rewarding to surreptitiously find a key resource. But not all books on your topic will be in the same shelf area due to either different subject content or to a shelving location. Biddle has several shelving locations – Biddle, Closed Reserve, Reserve Reading Room, and Lewis to name a few. In addition, a LOLA record will provide links to online pdfs and databases. 

Here’s  an example using both methods. You already have materials on antitrust but now want books on baseball. You start by looking in LOLA using baseball as a keyword. The first book listed The little white book of baseball law / John H. Minan, Kevin Cole Biddle KF3989 .M564 2009   starts with the call number KF3989, designating sports, so you go to that shelf area and browse.  You will find a number of books on your topic in that call number range, but there are also relevant titles that you will miss using only the Shelf Browser method. 

If you go back to your LOLA keyword search and scroll through the results you will find One man out : Curt Flood versus baseball / Robert M. Goldman Biddle KF228.F57 G65 2008.  It deals with baseball and antitrust, but has a call number of KF228, KF228 designating Trials. You will also see references in LOLA to a thesis available in microfiche, a CRS Report on microfilm, and a number of Congressional hearings, some shelved in Lewis and some with a direct link to the pdf or a database. 

To make sure you have located as many resources as possible, it is always best to start with LOLA and search by keyword. You can limit your results using the facets in the left column, and then incorporate browsing once you have identified all the key resources you will need to consult. The Reference Librarians are always happy to help you formulate a search and explain how to best use LOLA.  Click here to view a video about searching in LOLA.