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Identify the Appropriate Catalog to Search

Most searches for books should start in Diamond, the catalog of books available at Temple University. If you don't find what you need in Diamond, or need to conduct a more comprehensive search, there are other library catalogs available.

Searching Diamond for Books

Diamond provides a great deal of flexibility and sophistication in the way searches can be performed.

There are two basic ways to search:

If you are searching for a specific book, and you already know the author and/or title, then search using the Author, Title, or Author / Keywords search option. Enter your search terms and click the Search button.

If you are researching a topic, choose the Keyword option, enter your search terms and click the Search button. Multiple terms are automatically separated with an AND; in other words, citations containing all of the terms, regardless of order, will be returned. To search for a phrase, use quotation marks around your terms (e.g. "United States Supreme Court").

Regardless of the method used, your search will result in the following:

MORE THAN ONE ITEM FOUND: If your search query matches more than one item, Diamond displays a list of titles sorted chronologically (most recent to oldest). Browse this list until you find the item you need, then click on the item to reveal its location as well as any additional bibliographic information.

ONE ITEM FOUND. If you see the author, title, date, library, location, call number, and circulation status of a title, it means your search query matched only one item in Diamond. Look closely to confirm that the item displayed is the item you actually need. Mark the item or, at a minimum, copy down the call number. See the Locating Books in Temple Libraries section below for instructions on how to locate items in Temple Libraries.

NO ITEMS FOUND. If no titles are found that match your search criteria, Diamond will display an alphabetical list of titles closest to the one you searched for. This means the library either does not have the item in question or the search terms were entered incorrectly (misspelled terms are a common mistake).

Locating Books in Temple Libraries

When you have found a book in Diamond that you wish to get, it is important to note the Item Location, Call Number, and Status, all found in a box at the middle of the book's record: ITEM LOC: This is the location of the item. It will tell you which Temple library has the book and, occasionally, which section of the library. For instance, both "Paley Stacks" and "Paley Reference" refer to locations in Paley Library, but "Paley Stacks" refers to the 2nd and 3rd floors, while "Paley Reference" is on the 1st floor. Clicking on a hyperlinked library location will provide further information about the library or collection. CALL #: Books are arranged on the shelves by Call Number. Most Call Numbers used in the Temple University Libraries use the Library of Congress (LC) system, which alternates numbers and letters.

Items are shelved alpha-numerically. Call letters are placed in alphabetical order, with single letters preceding double letters:

Call Numbers in Shelf Order
Within a given alphabetical group, items are arranged in numerical order (whole numbers):

Call Numbers in Shelf Order
Items within the same group are further sub-divided alpha-numerically. Note how the numbers are read as decimals, arranged by value rather than length of number:

Call Numbers in Shelf Order


The status of the book will tell you if the book is:

In Library: available for checking out
Lib Use Only: available inside the library only
Due [Date]: currently checked out by a patron (consider an alternative way of getting the item)
Missing: lost, ask staff for assistance
New In Transit: ask staff for assistance

With this information in hand, go to the appropriate library and locate the book by Call Number.

Maps of Paley Library are available at the Reference Desk to help you determine the proper area of the library for your Call Number(s).

Interlibrary Loan services are also available for obtaining books that Temple does not have.

Ask a Librarian

Ask a Librarian
Reference Desk
1st Floor Paley Library
(right by the front door)
Phone: 215-204-8212
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