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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

ESL Undergraduate Student Guide

A guide to support international students in ESL 112 and 115 and beyond.

Where to Find Books

Find books and more by searching the Library Catalogs. 

Search the Library Catalog

The default search is the "keyword" search which provides the most comprehensive search, but can result in a large number of items appearing in your search results. Focus your search with one of the following options:

  • Title search
    • Enter a known title in search box. 
    • Select "Title" from the drop-down menu. 
  • Author search
    • Enter author name in search box..
    • Select "Author" from the drop-down menu. 
  • Subject search
    • Enter subject words in search box. 
    • From results page look in the right-hand column for "Topic" or "Genre." To focus your search, click on those that appear most relevant.​​


Example Catalog Search for "American History" showing Topic and Genre options

Create an Account

Creating a library account allows you to request books from the University of Illinois catalog and I-Share, save materials to your Saved Items or create a list, view and renew the items you have checked out, and view fines. Creating a library account is also necessary to request books through I-Share.

1. Go to the Library homepage.
2. Select the Catalog drop-down menu (in light blue menu bar).
3. Select U of I Catalog (the first option).
4. Click "Login" on the right side of the page.

5. Select "Create New Account." 


6. Complete the form:

  • Enter your name as it appears on your I-Card
  • Use your university email address
  • It is recommended (but not required) that you use your NetID and password as your username and password 
  • Enter your "Barcode," which is the 14 digit number on your I-Card next to the word "Library."
  • Enter your last name. Make sure that it matches the last name on your i-card.
  • Select the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign from the drop-down menu.

If you have any questions about creating an account, Ask a Librarian.