Library Research: A Step-By-Step Guide

Use this guide to learn more about the research process

Beyond Our Collection: Interlibrary Loan

Using the Interlibrary Loan Service

InterLibrary Loan: No library has it all! But the InterLibrary Loan (or ILL) is a service offered by Holman Library for borrowing books and articles from other libraries. 

For your research it is important to search many places.
  • First, start with the books and articles available through the Holman Library.

  • Then, If you find books and articles that the Library does NOT have access to, just request them through Interlibrary Loan.

  • Using Interlibrary Loan increases the amount of resources available to you and helps you become a more thorough researcher.

  • Books and other items that require mailing may take 1-2 weeks.

  • Articles and other digital items may arrive within 2-5 days. Use your email as your contact info and the article will be sent directly to you.

Other places you can search...

Use the links below to look for books, articles and more beyond our collection:

To request an item, use information you find in the tools above to fill out the Student Interlibrary Loan form. If you need help filling out this form, call the library reference desk at (253) 931-6480.

InterLibrary Loan requests are free to current GRC students, faculty and staff.

Step 2b: Find books

Why Use Books?

  • can give you an in-depth analysis of your topic      
  • can get you a historical perspecitve on your topic to see how it has evolved over time
  • often are written by authors who are experts or have taken the time to do research on a particular subject
  • help you understand the complexity your topic

When you find a book...
  • you do not have to read the whole book! Instead look at the table of contents in the front to find which chapters will be most helpful to you
  • look in the back of the book.  Often there is a list of sources that the author consulted when he or she wrote the book.  You might want to use these sources for your research, too!

One Search refine results by Source Type = Books

Limiting to books


As shown in the image below, you can limit the results in Holman Library One Search to just books by using the "Source Type" limiter of to the left.

  • Here you can select "Books" to view print books (held at the library) or ebooks (that you can access by clicking the link)

(click on image to enlarge)

screen shot of a results page, showing source types

Google Books - Previews

Find Previews of Books Through Google Books

Many of the books on the Google Books website allow you to view a preview. You can limit to these books using the instructions below. You may not see entire text of the book, but many of the chapters may be included. You can often find great information in these chapters.

  1. Search Google Books to find full text or partial text of books online
  2. Choose books from your search that indicate there is a "Preview" 
  3. Or limit to "Preview Available" under "Any books" on the tools menu (see image below)

(click on image to enlarge)

image of the results of a Google Books search, highlighting the tools to limit to "preview available" only books

Search inside electronic books