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Preuss School: Books

Search for Books in the Library

Roger is the UC San Diego Library catalog that helps you locate print and electronic books on campus.  The catalog also contains periodicals, film, music, maps and all other materials collected by the library.

Search the Catalog

The Roger catalog default search is a basic keyword search- great when you are starting out your search for books on a new topic. You may also search by Title, Author, and General Subjects.  To limit your search to books in print, select the Books format above the search bar.  If you are interested in e-Books, select the Electronic Materials format above the search bar.

Watch the Catalog Tutorial.


Narrowing your search using subject headings

A keyword search is great when you're starting out, but to get a more specific set of books on your topic try using subject headings. Subject headings use a set vocabulary to group together books on the same topic.It's a more organized way to search. Starting out a new topic though, you probably won't know the subject heading terminology to use. A great trick is to do a keyword search, find books that meet your needs and look for the subject headings.

In the following example I started with a keyword search "green building" and of my results list (482 items) I clicked on a promising title to get to this full-page description. The subject headings are the blue hyperlinks near the end of the description:


Click on the hyperlinked subjects to get a new set of results, all with the same subject heading. Hint: Consider right-clicking on the hyperlink to open the subject heading results in a new tab or window so that you don't lose track of your initial search results.

Request through the Circuit or Melyvyl catalogs

You can use two other library catalogs, Circuit or Melvyl, to find books and request delivery to UC San Diego (free of charge!).

Circuit - San Diego area universities catalog Melvyl - UC combined catalog
Books usually delivered to The Library within 48 hours, M-F. Books usually delivered to The Library within a week.
Searches the holdings of UC San Diego, SDSU, USD, and the San Diego County Library system. Searches the holdings of all 10 University of California campuses plus libraries worldwide.

1. Link to Circuit and Melvyl from your search results in The Library catalog

Look for the links on the right-hand side of the page, the system automatically repeats your search in the Circuit or Melvyl catalogs:

2. Place Your Request

Both of these additional catalogs provide a tool for requesting the book you want.  

  • In Circuit, look for the blue request button. For example, this is the view on the page with the details about the book.

Select your location and enter your information including your UC San Diego PIN - for details on creating it, see My Library Account tab.


  • In Melvyl, look for the yellow Request button. You can find it on the item's details page.

You will need your library barcode (21822 ...  on the back of your campus ID), select a pick up location, and enter your email address so we can alert you when the book is received.



Add your name to a waiting list by placing a hold

Placing a hold request prevents the person with the book from renewing it. In some cases it may also shorten the due date so that person must return the book sooner. Once the book is returned the next person on the list will be notified that the book is on hold for them.

To place your hold request just look for the request button in the online catalog:  

Tip: You will need the barcode on your student ID/Library Card for all of these services. For Circuit and to place a hold request on the UC San Diego copy you will also need a PIN.

To learn how to set up and use your PIN go to the My Library Account tab at the top of this page.


Locate a Book

From your results list, click on the title to view a full record of the book. We'll use our "green building" search again. Look for three key pieces of information for locating it in the library:  Location, Call Number, and Status:

Where do I go?

Check out books at the main circulation desk in each library building. In Geisel it's the one across from the entry doors. If the line is long, or if you're more of a do-it-yourself person, use the Self-Checkout machines:

What do I need?Your Student ID card = Library card

UC San Diego ID card is your library card; you will need it to check out books.


How long can I have a book?

Lending times will vary between libraries and will depend on whether you are an undergraduate or a graduate student. Be sure to ask when you check out. If you forget the due date simply check your My Library Account. For more information on using your library account go to the Using My Library Account tab on the top of this page.

How can I renew my books?

Most library material (excluding course reserves) may be renewed online, over the phone, or in-person.

Ask a Librarian

Find Books on Reserve

For more information about Reserves and how to use them, click the Using Reserves tab at the top of this page. Books

Learn More About e-Books

e-Book Devices