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USP 193: San Diego Community Research: Find Books

Find Books

Use UC Library Search to find books, ebooks, films/videos, government publications, etc. about your topic that are available at UC San Diego and/or other UC libraries.

Begin with a keyword search, for example

"linda vista"

san diego AND ("clairemont mesa" OR "clairemont")

san diego demographics

san diego and plan*
    (Note that the * is a truncation symbol, e.g. plan* returns results for plan, plans, planning, etc.)

When you find a record for a book that looks useful, take a look at the subject headings. In UC Library Search, these subject headings are clickable links that run a new search. Searching by these subject headings may help find resources that don't turn up with an initial keyword search. They might also give you ideas of other search terms to use in your keyword search.

See the main USP library guide to see common urban studies-related subject headings.


The Library is increasingly purchasing books in electronic format rather than traditional print format. These books are listed in our catalog just like other books, and you can even limit your catalog search to find just the books that are available online. 

To do this, do your general keyword search first. When the results come up, you'll see several options on the left to limit the results; one of those options is "show only available online."

Ebooks will be especially important while classes are being taught online. In addition to using UC Library Search to limit to electronic materials (as described above), you might want to check some of our ebook collections. See the library's ebooks guide for:

Important note: many of the ebooks we have access to (titles published 2021- ) are not yet in UC Library Search. You can try searching directly from the ebook collections above, but feel free to email me if there's a 2021 title you really want and can't find; I'll do some sleuthing to see if we have access.

Library Catalogs

UC Library Search is the first stop for finding books, journals, documents, maps and all other material located physically in the UCSD libraries, as well as online resources purchased for your use. You can use the same catalog to find materials at other UC libraries.

Bonus search tip: Having trouble finding relevant books using the online catalog? You can search the full text of many books using Google Books to identify books of possible interest, then do a title search in the library catalogs to find a copy. In most cases, you won't be able to actually read the full text online.

Important: Circuit is not currently available

Circuit is a shared library catalog that searches the holdings of all San Diego university libraries and the San Diego County Public Library. If a book you need is already checked out at UCSD, or if or we don't own a book that you need, check in Circuit. If it’s available at another San Diego Circuit library, it can be delivered to UCSD in 1-3 days.

If a book or journal you need isn't available through UC LIbrary Search or Circuit, try the Worldcat catalog - it allows you to search libraries worldwide. From other libraries, books and journals can take up to 3 weeks, so start your research early!

Interlibrary Loan

If a book or article you want isn't available at UCSD, the Circuit libraries or other UC libraries, try our free Interlibrary Loan service. We'll try to locate the item at another library and request it for you.

More info on finding books...