Of course, we have a lot of books (and ebooks) and the library. Let's say you are looking for information on a specific plant for your assignment. You searched on Google and on Google Scholar, you even searched the library catalogue and still can't find what you're looking for? These tips will help you find books on your topic that the McGill Library has. If you are specifically looking for journal articles, please refer to the "Articles" tab in the left-side menu.
Let's use Betula alleghaniensis as an example.
1. What information do you already have and what are you looking for?
You may know already (through previous research, or by looking at Wikipedia or searching on Google/Google Scholar) that Betula alleghaniensis can also be called "yellow birch" or "golden birch" and that it was previously Betula lutea (so if you're looking at older literature and search by name, you will have to use both). You could also look at where it grows and search the trees from that region.
For print books:
- The library uses a subject-specific classification, which means that all books related to a same topic will be together on the shelves.
- If the books are available downtown, you can request them to be sent to Mac.
2. Reference list
Most books and all journal articles will have a list of references at the end, check it to see if any reference might be useful. If a title seems relevant, check WorldCat to see if we have it. If not, you can ask for an interlibrary loan (but don't do that if your assignment is due the next day. We still don't have transporters to beam the book to the library in a few seconds, so it might take from a few days to a few weeks depending where that book is located).
It would be impossible to write all the great resources we have for each category, but I've listed a few basic searches or sections to browse in the library. If you are looking for something specific, please feel free to come and see me!
Invertebrates, try the QL360 to QL599.82 section of the library.
Earthworms? Try this WorldCat search or in the library, QL391 A6
Birds? Birds of the World, from Cornell Lab or the QL671 to QL699 section.
Forest ecology? Try this search.