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How do I find books?: 1. Start

Shows you how to locate & obtain a book in NUS Libraries.

Search for books in catalogue


This is a basic guide that helps you locate a specific book (when you already have a title in mind) using LINC, the default library catalogue search in NUS Libraries. 

This consists of the following steps

(i) Searching LINC

(ii) Checking the physical location of book (Where is the book physically located?)

(iii) Checking the status of the book (Is the book available or checked out?)

(iv) Checkout the book if book is available for loan (How do I check-out the book?)

(v) Placing a hold on item if item is out on loan or in closed stacks (How do I place a hold or request if the book is not on shelf?)

(vi) Recommending the book be purchased or doing a inter-library loan if item is not held in NUS Libraries. (How do I obtain the book if NUS Libraries does not own it?)

If you are looking to browse for books that might be of interest you can do a keyword search or browse the sheves by call numbers


Let's say you are looking for a specific book  of which you knwo one of the following information (see example below):

(i) Book title (e.g. Introduction to Econometrics)

(ii) ISBN (e.g. 0321442539)

(iii) Call number (e.g HB139 Sto 2006)

Example of titles and ISBNs

Search LINC for the book title:


Tip #1 - Book chapters

Occasionally you will be given a citation like this

J.D.B. Miller, “Hedley Bull, 1932–1985” in J.D.B. Miller and R.J. Vincent, eds., Order and Violence. Hedley Bull and International Relations (Oxford, 1990), p. 5.

The book chapter "Hedley Bull, 1932–1985" is cited, to find it, search in LINC by the book title (not book chapter) Order and Violence. Hedley Bull and International Relations. 

Tip #2 Many books with the same title

Certain book titles have very generic titles such as Introduction to Econometrics . Moreover textbooks are often available in many editions. If you want a specific edition , instead of searching by title you can try searching by ISBN or call number of the book. 

You can also try doing a more specific search in the new advanced search by searching title AND author and limit by year.

If the item is in RBR (Reserve Books/Readings) , a RBR search by module should give you the specific title recommended by the lecturer.

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