This page lists several free methods of finding books, journals, magazines, newspapers, maps, etc. See the table below to help determine what method to use.
|Method||What's there||Why use it|
|IUCAT||Books, journals, maps, etc. already at IU (both physical copies and e-resources)||Covers most topics, materials often immediately available|
|Worldcat||Books, journals, maps, etc. that may or may not be at IU||Covers all topics, can find material regardless whether IU happens to own it|
|Interlibrary Loan||Use this service to order materials that are unavailable at IU (either because IU doesn't own it or it is checked out)||Use alongside Worldcat or when you don't find a book, journal, etc. in IUCAT|
|Google Books||Books and journals that Google has scanned from many Library collections. Many items are available only in preview or snippet view.||Ideal for journals and books in the public domain (usually published before 1923). Preview can help locate particularly useful sections.|
|Hathitrust||Scanned books and journals, often the same materials as Google Books||Navigation is often more cumbersome than Google Books, but locating specific journal issues is often easier|
Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is a relatively fast and free service to have books, articles, journals, etc. delivered from another library somewhere in the world to IU Bloomington. You can also use UBorrow, which is similar to ILL, but the books arrive more quickly and you can keep them longer.
While IUCAT lists material available within the libraries on IU campuses, Worldcat collects catalog information from libraries around the world. It also lists which libraries hold what materials, so you can use it to see if books are held at IU. Worldcat can serve many functions, including:
As noted above, Worldcat is especially helpful for Interlibrary Loan requests. In fact, it can even populate your ILL request for you (assuming you are on an IU wifi network or using IU VPN). Simply verify that the item is not held at IU and then click "Request via ILL." See image below.
Everyone is familiar with Google Books. Even though many books are only available in "preview" mode, it can be a lifesaver. Use it alongside a print copy of a book to find particularly relevant sections to read or glance at an introduction at home before deciding whether to check the book out from the library.
Note that material in the public domain is available in full text.
Like Google Books, students can use Hathitrust to find the full-text of out-of-copyright books and journals. Unlike Google Books, it is easy to determine which journal volumes are available in Hathitrust (just click "catalog record"), but Hathitrust sometimes responds more slowly than Google Books.