Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Finding the Book You Need

When only a book will do, first I check Cuesta library's online catalog to see if we own it. For example, if I were needing to find a copy of Smart Mobs : the Next Social Revolution by Howard Rheingold, I would go to the library homepage at, go to Webcat, and see if Cuesta owned it. If we didn't, I would next check the public library system at If they owned it, I would reserve a copy and have it sent to the Atascadero branch, closest to where I live. (You need to get a free library card in order to use the public library system.) If that still didn't work, I would borrow the book from another library by using Cuesta's interlibrary loan system. It's free (unless the other library charges to loan the book) and takes 7-10 working days usually. The form is at the bottom of the library homepage at Nowadays, you can get practically any book you want for free.

Speaking of free: If you wanted to buy the book, you could shop locally at one of the bookstores, or go to Barnes and Noble in San Luis for a very large selection. If you wanted to get a deal on it, you could go to AddAll and shop for the lowest price. The hardback edition of Smart Mobs is now out of print, but used to retail for $26. Using AddAll I found the book for 10.25 including tax at The paperback edition retails for $16 and is available for $8.20 including tax when I checked AddAll.

And if you only wanted to read a little section of the book, you could use the Search Inside the Book feature at to look at a part of it. Many (not all) books sold on Amazon allow you to search inside them and look at several pages. What I do is look at the table of contents, then type in words from the particular chapter title that interests me. It works great! (You could also use Google Book Search at, which basically does the same thing as Amazon's Search Inside the Book.)

Happy reading!
(in Money, Research help)
Tina Lau, North County Librarian

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