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How to Research: Find Books, eBooks, and Video

Just getting started on a research paper or project? Don't know where to start? This is the guide for you!

Find Books & eBooks

Use books & eBooks:

  • for detailed information on your topic
  • to put your topic in context
  • for historical information
  • for lists of references for further research
  • for summaries of research to support an argument

    Books & eBooks may be found physically on a shelf at MHC, online, or at another library.

        DVDs and Streaming Video

        DVDs can be located on the shelves of the Medicine Hat College Library. These items are located in the Audiovisual/Multimedia Collection and organized using Library of Congress Classification.

        Streaming (Online) videos are also accessible through any internet connection. Access is restricted to MHC students, staff, and faculty. Enter your Student ID BARCODE for off campus access. The library subscribes to the following streaming collections:

        Search the library

        Discover books, videos, articles, and more:


        More search options

        Find articles on your topic  
        Locate a specific journal or article


        How to Find a Book in the Library

        In order to find a book on the shelf, make sure you note the location/collection and write down the call number.

        Book title: Substance use and abuse: Everything matters 

        "Vera Bracken" is the Medicine Hat Campus Library. "MH Circulating Books" is the main book collection. We also have books in the Brooks Campus library and other locations in the Vera Bracken Library including Audiovisual, Curriculum, Reserves, and Display areas. Don't hesitate to ask library staff for assistance finding material. If the status is "Available" the book should be on the shelves. Otherwise it may be requested. The Call Number is HV 5840 C3 C75 2011. You will need the entire number to locate the book on the shelf.

        Generally, books on a topic will be grouped together on the shelf. Sometimes books on a topic will be found in different sections of the library. For example, substance use might be covered in Psychology (B section), Social Sciences (H section) or Medicine (R section).

        • BF - Psychology
        • HV - Social work, social services, substance use, homelessness, crime
        • KE - Canadian law
        • QM - Human anatomy
        • RC - Diseases, disorders (substance use, eating disorders, arthritis, etc.)
        • RJ - Pediatrics
        • RM - Therapeutics (physical therapy, massage, exercise, pharmacology)
        • RT - Nursing

        Most books may be borrowed for a four-week loan. Remember to bring your Student ID Card to the Service Desk to sign out material. 

        If you find books not available in the MHC Libraries, you can request using the free interlibrary loan service.

        Find a Book on the Library Shelves


        Like most academic libraries, MHC Library's collection is organized using the Library of Congress classification system. This means that books on the same or similar subjects will be shelved together.

        Each item has a unique call number. Call numbers are like addresses that point you to where each book “lives” on the shelf.

        Call numbers are read line by line. For example, the call number for The Moral Advantage: How to Succeed in Business by Doing the Right Thing is HF 5387 D366 2004:

         Start with the top line, HF; items are arranged alphabetically by subject (HF Social Sciences. Commerce).  Single letters precede double letters. (A, B, BF, C, D ... H, HF …)
         Then read the second line, 5387; items are ordered using whole numbers. (1, 2, 3, 45, 500, 501, 5000,  5387… )
         Then read the third line,  D366; items are ordered alphabetically. Items starting with the same letter are then  arranged by decimal number. For D366 imagine D3.66 which would come before D4.
         The fourth line, 2004, is the year of publication.

        While browsing for books can be interesting, you will miss out on items that are checked out, electronic items, and items that exist in different locations.

        To find specific information, the most comprehensive method is to search the Library Catalogue.