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Getting Started: Information Research Tips

Introductory help in learning how to identify, locate, evaluate, and use information effectively and ethically for research assignments.

Online Catalogs for Finding Books at UCLA or Other Libraries

UC Library Search, the University of California Libraries' new discovery tool, launches on July 27, 2021.  

It will replace the UCLA Library Catalog and Melvyl as the way to discover items across the University of California system.

For more information, please see our UC Library Search website or contact us at

At UCLA there are three different library catalogs to search for books.

UCLA Library Catalog

The UCLA Library Catalog lists everything owned or licensed by the UCLA Library and other campus collections. That includes books, journals, magazines, DVDs and videos, microfilm, and online databases. As our in-house system it also contains up-to-the-minute status information on what's checked out and allows you to do things like renew your books, recall books checked out to other people or request items stored in the Southern Regional Library Facility (SRLF).


  1. The Catalog lists journals owned by UCLA, but not the individual articles inside them. To identify specific articles, use an Article Database.
  2. Once you have found a book you want to get, note the location, call number and status (whether the book is checked out):
    Location: YRL
    Call Number: DT16.5 .A24 2010
    Status: Not Checked Out
  3. You can always ask for help!


WorldCat has catalog records from libraries worldwide. Not every library everywhere, but from any libraries that have given their records to OCLC. However, it lacks local information like where in the library something is. You can request materials from anywhere in the world using the Interlibrary Loan service—you don't even have to specify where it's coming from—but it may take weeks or months to get here, and extremely rare materials may not be available for loan.


  • Resources that are fully cataloged in the all UC campus (main) catalogs, including books, journals, media, government publications, maps, electronic databases, and more.
  • Resources in libraries from around the world that are found in .
  • A search in the Melvyl Catalog will include a number of journal article databases with links to articles available in full-text or print from the UC Libraries. To limit your search to books only, on the Advanced Search screen, scroll to the bottom of the list of databases and click on Select All in Group. If you want to include an article database in your search, click the box before continuing.