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AP English (Moline High School) - Beloved: Welcome and Library Basics

Hello and Welcome!

We're glad you're here! Andrea Anderson, Cathy Cranston, and Rita Soenksen are happy to help you get started this morning! Please feel welcome to ask us questions as we go.

We understand that you're working on an essay assignment which involves selecting a prompt from the list provided by your teacher. You need at least two secondary sources which we will focus on finding today! 

To get started, we're going to use the university's library catalog, InfoHawk+, to find resources - just like you would use Destiny Discover to search your school library. Not every single thing in our collection is cataloged in InfoHawk+ but it is a great place to start!

General Research Tips

  • Generate a list of your search terms and any synonyms.
  • Search for each term in InfoHawk+ and our databases. Look at the subjects that are listed with interesting resources.
  • If searching for a phrase, insert quotation marks around the phrase.
  • If you find a resource that looks interesting, look at the Subjects listed for that item. It may give you terms you can add to your search! You can click on them to find things cataloged with that term.
  • Change your results by using the words AND, OR, NOT in your search, like this: oppression AND Beloved AND Toni Morrison.
  • Limit your search by a date range if you only want results from certain years. 
  • If you need a peer-reviewed, scholarly, or academic article (lots of words for the same idea!), select "Peer-reviewed journal" from the left side of InfoHawk+. (Some databases have a peer-reviewed filter as well!)
  • Try your search terms in multiple databases.
  • Look at the footnotes and bibliography of scholarly articles and dissertations - they can lead you to related sources!
  • InfoHawk+ can generate a citation for resources. Click on the large quotation mark at the bottom of the record and copy it into a document. Always double check them for accuracy!
  • The first sources that you find may not be the best. Keep looking!

How to Read an LC Call Number

When you locate a book in InfoHawk+, you'll need to take note of a few things in order to find it in the Library. 

Library description of Let America be America again and other poems by Langston Hughes


  • this is a BOOK in print/paper form (as opposed to an "ebook" which would be located online)
  • it is Available (which means it should be sitting on the shelf as opposed to already checked out by someone else)
  • It is located in the Main Library (as opposed to any of our other campus libraries)
  • it is in the "Stacks" which is another way to say it is on a bookshelf
  • there is a call number that tells you the location in the library
  • We use a different system than what you are used to in your high school library - but don't worry, we can help you find what you are looking for or you can ask anyone shelving books for help too!

How to locate a book by its call number

image of blue book spine with call number listed in 4 short lines and image of computer with call number as one long line of digits

Image source: Howard Community College

When you are looking for a print book in our libraries, always start with the beginning of the call number. Books are arranged alphabetically starting with this. For example, all PR call numbers are together, after PP and before PS, and all P’s come after all combinations of N and before all combinations of Q, like this:

P, PA, PB . . . PP, PR, PS . . . Q, QA, QB

When books have identical letter combinations, look to the number line next. Books are ordered using whole numbers on this part. For example:

PR1    PR206    PR1056    PR6037     PR6209

When the beginning combinations of letters and numbers are identical, next look at the part after the decimal point. Books are first ordered alphabetically and then arranged by decimal number (not whole number.) The following call numbers are in correct order:

PR6037.A47  PR6037.A8   PR6037.A86  PR6037.E222

If there are more letters and numbers that follow, repeat the pattern of looking at the letters alphabetically, and the numbers as a decimal number.

LC Call Number Ranges

PS 3563.O8749... Morrison, Toni

PS 3563.O785... Morrison, Toni -- Criticism and interpretation

Search Term Suggestions

Main Library Floorplan

1st floor scanning stations (gold arrows)

Map of Main Library 1st floor with scanner locations indicated by gold arrows


2nd floor call numbers PS3516 - PZ 

Floor plan of Main Library 2nd floor


4th floor call numbers P- PS3515 

Floor plan of Main Library 4th floor

UI Land Acknowledgement

The University of Iowa is located on the homelands of the Ojibwe/Anishinaabe (Chippewa), Báxoǰe (Iowa), Kiikaapoi (Kickapoo), Omāēqnomenēwak (Menominee), Myaamiaki (Miami), Nutachi (Missouri), Umoⁿhoⁿ (Omaha), Wahzhazhe (Osage), Jiwere (Otoe), Odawaa (Ottawa), Póⁿka (Ponca), Bodéwadmi/Neshnabé (Potawatomi), Meskwaki/Nemahahaki/Sakiwaki (Sac and Fox), Dakota/Lakota/Nakoda (Sioux), Sahnish/Nuxbaaga/Nuweta (Three Affiliated Tribes) and Ho-Chunk (Winnebago) Nations. The following tribal nations, Umoⁿhoⁿ (Omaha Tribe of Nebraska and Iowa), Póⁿka (Ponca Tribe of Nebraska), Meskwaki (Sac and Fox of the Mississippi in Iowa), and Ho-Chunk (Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska) Nations continue to thrive in the State of Iowa and we continue to acknowledge them.

Click here for the Acknowledgement of Land and Sovereignty from the UI Native American Council.