Finding Books

1. Search Franklin, the library catalog:

Use the search box above or go to the full search page.
For tips on searching in Franklin, see the User Guide.

2. Check location and availability of the book.

   In which library is the book located? Is it available? Or is it checked out or in process?



   There are 15 libraries at Penn. The locations are listed here.

3. Get the call number.

If the book is available, write down the call number. This will tell you where in the library to find the book. For help on reading the call numbers, visit this page.

4. Find the book on the shelf.

For books in the Van Pelt Library, use the stacks directory located inside and outside all of the elevators. Each of the libraries has its own layout so ask for assistance if you have trouble finding a book. You can find floor plans for some of the libraries online. The floor plan for the Van Pelt Library is here.

You can always ASK A LIBRARIAN for HELP.

 
FAQs
  • The book I'm looking for is checked out. How can I get it?
    Request the book from another library through BorrowDirect+. Search the BorrowDirect+ catalogs to find libraries that own the book. Place your request and receive the book in approximately 3-5 days. You will be notified via e-mail when it is available for pick-up.

  • None of the Penn libraries owns the books I want. How can I get it?
    Request the book from another library through BorrowDirect+. Search the BorrowDirect+ catalogs to find libraries that own the book. Place your request and receive the book in approximately 3-5 days. You will be notified via e-mail when it is available for pick-up.

  • Franklin says the library owns the book, but it's not on the shelf. What do I do?
    Report the book as missing to the circulation desk. Ask about getting it through BorrowDirect+.

  • How do I request a book that is in LIBRA?
    From the book's record in Franklin, select the Place Request tab at the top of the screen. Log in, using your last name and your barcode (the last ten digits of your PENNCard). Select "Get from Storage or a Penn Library." The book will normally arrive at your library of choice within 24 hours.

  • How do I find works of fiction for pleasure reading in the library?
    All of the holdings in the library are listed in our online catalog. To search for a particular title or author, use Franklin, the library catalog.

    If you would like to browse works of fiction, you will most likely want to go to the third floor of the Van Pelt Library. Works of literature generally have call numbers in the P's. English and American Literature are shelved at PR and PS respectively. To review the call number ranges within the P section, please see the Library of Congress Classification Outline for the letter P.

    The library also houses a small collection of current bestsellers, including thrillers, mysteries, popular biography, science fiction, popular political books, books on sports, exploration and travel, military history and the like. These are listed in Franklin with the call number Bestsellers Plus. This browsing collection is located on the first floor of the Van Pelt Library behind the east elevator bay.