How do I find a book?

  1. Search CUNY+

    Search CUNY+, the library’s online catalog, to find books at CSI and other CUNY libraries. You can search by keyword, title, author, or subject. CUNY+ will tell you whether a book is currently available and where it is located in the library. If you need assistance searching the catalog, click “Help” in top-right corner of the search screen or ask a librarian.

    CUNY + search screen

  2. Record the Location and Call Number of the Book

    When you find the book you want, click on the library listed in the “Holdings” column to see the location and call number of the book.

    results screen

    The location will tell you the section of the library in which the book is located (Stacks, Reference, Reserves, etc.). The call number tells you where it’s located on the shelf.

    holdings screen

  3. Retrieve the Book from the Shelf

    Books are shelved according to the Library of Congress Classification System, an alphanumeric system which groups books by broad subject categories. Books written about the same subject have similar call numbers, so they tend to be located in the same area. To view the list of subject categories and their corresponding call numbers, check out the Library of Congress Classification Outline.

    Each book has its own unique call number which is usually found near the bottom of the book’s spine. Call numbers contain a combination of letters and numbers used to classify the book. The first two lines of a call number represent the subject of the book. The third line often represents the author’s name, and the last line is the date of publication.

    call numbers