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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Improve Your Research Strategies: 2. I-Share Catalog

Learn to think like a librarian! This guide is an introduction (or a refresher) to using the library to find books and journal articles.

Books not at Illinois

The diagram below describes the three-step process for finding books.  If a book is not held at the University of Illinois library, the next place to check is I-Share, a consortium of other academic libraries in Illinois. If a book is not available in Illinois, the next step is to use search the WorldCat catalog and request a copy of the book through Interlibrary Loan.

WorldCat logo

I-Share Catalog

I-Share is a network of over 80 academic libraries in Illinois that lend materials to one another. Items that are not available or checked out at U of I can usually be obtained through I-Share. The I-Share catalog can be accessed directly through our local catalog. Simply change the dropdown menu next to the search field from "Local Catalog Only" to "All I-Share Libraries."

How to change to iShare catalog

Please note electronic resources listed in the I-Share catalog that are owned by other libraries can only be accessed by people affiliated with that library. For instance, the item below is owned by Columbia College, and Illinois Wesleyan, and it can only be accessed by people at those institutions.  So if you are searching for eBooks or electronic resources, make sure you are searching the local catalog only.


iShare catalog entry

Hands on Activity

  1. Search for the item Arrivals: Poems by David Mason in the Illinois catalog. If you can't locate it, repeat your search in the I-Share catalog.
  2. How many I-Share libraries own American Christianities: A History of Dominance and Diversity? At which libraries is it currently available?