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How do I Research?: Finding Books

A guide to conducting research for OCAD U coursework and beyond

To Find PRINT Books

To find PRINT books at the OCAD U Library, use:


  • Summon Search, but use "More Search Options" and limit:
    • Content Type: Book/eBook
    • Show Only: Items in the library catalog (includes mostly print and physical material)

As an example, view the different results between:

You may be surprised at that Summon offer more than 4 time the number of titles, even though both are searching the EXACT same collection (print books in the library). The reason for this surprising difference lies in WHAT information each tool searches:

  • Library Catalogue: searches only a book's:
    • Title
    • Author(s)
    • Library of Congress Subjects
    • and sometimes the Table of Contents of brief description of the book
  • Summon Search will use Google Books metadata to KEYWORD search:
    • the entire text of the book, then will aggregate the results with our holdings at the OCAD U Library. 

To Find E-Books

To find E-BOOKS at the OCAD U Library, try using:

  • Summon Search and use "More Search Options" but limit to
    • Content Type: Books/eBooks
    • Show Only: Items With Full Text Online



Finding a General Context = Finding Books

Finding Books will oftentimes provide you with a GENERAL CONTEXT which explores HOW a THEORY is expressed in culture.


For a general CONTEXT: ask the question HOW, for ex.

  • HOW do community stakeholders understand a design problem?
  • HOW does this differ from my views?
  • HOW can we resolve these divisions?
  • HOW do mediums used in an artwork interact with the formal elements?
  • HOW do artists conceptualize THEORIES in their artworks?