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How to find books using the Diamond catalog.

Find Books

Identify the Appropriate Catalog to Search

Most searches for books should start in Diamond, the catalog of books and media available from Temple University Libraries. Links to Diamond are found on the library website under Quick Links and on the Books tab.  If you need to conduct a more comprehensive search for books and other materials, consider Summon (it searches across library collections) or other access points at  Information about Summon is found at

Searching Diamond for Books 
Diamond provides a great deal of flexibility in the way searches can be performed.  There are two basic ways to search:

Specific Item

1) 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.  You can also search by the ISBN number if you have that.  It is like an identification number for the book. 

Specific Item Example: If you do a title search for The Epic of Gilgamesh.  You will find three entries in the results list.  Most Mosaic books are on reserve at the Reserve Desk, therefore you would click on the third entry.  Here you will find the location (Paley Reserve), call number (PJ3771 .G5ES 2003) and item status (IN LIBRARY).  To get this book you would go into the Tuttleman building to the Reserve Desk and give them the call number.  

Books on a Topic

2) 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").

Example: If you do a keyword search for "creative class" and click search, you will find 40 entries.  Browse down the entries to review the titles and find one of interest to you.  Click on The Rise of the Creative Class: and how it's transforming work, leisure, community and everyday life by Richard L. Florida.  You will find the location (Paley Stacks), call number (HD53 .F467x 2002), and item status (IN LIBRARY).  To get this book you would go to the 3rd floor of the Paley Library and look on the shelves for the call number.  Go to the first floor desks to check out the book or use the self check-out machine.

Locating Books in Temple Libraries

Remember, when you have found a book in Diamond that you wish to get, it is important to note the Item Location, Call Number, and Item Is (status), all found in a box at the middle of the book's record.  You can find a list of the Temple University Libraries' collections on the advanced search screen in the Diamond catalog.  Library locations are listed at


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.


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, you can 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).


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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