insider's guide
to the library

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When you know what you want

If you have a citation, this page will help you learn how to use library tools to access a variety of library resources.

If you still cannot locate what you need, please Ask a Librarian

Find books

Request a book outside of UIUC

  • We buy a lot of books, but sometimes we don't own what you're looking for or it's checked out. 


  • The University Library subscribes to loads of ebooks - this guide will help you find them as well as use them.

Find print materials

  • There are several ways to do determine whether or not the library has access to print versions of articles or journals.

Find a specific article

  • When you know what you are looking for and have all or part of a citation. The CitationLinker is a tool that allows you to search for a specific journal article.

Find a specific journal or database

  • How to find the journal or database you need.

Find an article not at Illinois

  • Sometimes we don't own the article you need; here's how to request it through Interlibrary Loan.

Course reserves

  • Learn how to search for course reserves by class or by the name of your instructor. 

Find media

  • The Library has a variety of multimedia resources including DVDs, music scores, sound recordings, 3D objects, and much more!

Conference Proceedings

  • Notoriously difficult to find, this guide will give step-by-step instructions for finding conference proceedings in all disciplines. 


  • A guide to help you find dissertations and master's theses from Illinois, the U.S., and internationally.  

Government information

  •  The information produced by the government is vast in terms scope (it is hard to find a subject the government does not publish on) and breadth (the government has been publishing research, statistics, reports since its inception). 

Reference resources

  • Find articles in encyclopedias, dictionaries, and reference books on topics including art, biography, country information, literature, music, psychology, and much more.

Special collections

  • The University Library has many unique collections. Let us introduce you to our incunabula, archival papers, rare books, manuscripts, and much more!