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How to find articles, books, and more using our library search tool.

Finding Books

All UM System libraries have added their books to a catalog that can be searched at UMSL using Discover@UMSL. Print books can be requested by UMSL patrons and delivered to the Thomas Jefferson Library. 

Electronic books are another matter. Due to licensing restrictions set by publishing companies, eBooks purchased by other libraries cannot be viewed or requested by UMSL patrons.

 1   On the library homepage (, type in your keywords and hit enter or click the Search button.

Search box showing the keywords Dementia care

 2   If prompted, log in using your SSO ID (usually the first part of your UMSL email address) and password.


 Print Books 

 3   Your initial results will include articles, eBooks, print books, and other items. If you only want to see print books, select one of the two filters highlighted in gold in the image below:

  • UMSL Libraries Books will show books held by either the Mercantile or TJ Library. Use this if you suspect a book is in the building but you’re not sure which collection it’s a part of. See the Finding Popular Fiction page if you’re interested in books for recreational reading.
  • Mercantile Books will limit to books held by the St. Louis Mercantile Library. This collection contains many rare and historically significant items, including books about American exploration, rail and river travel, slavery and abolition, St. Louis history and biography, and Native American history.

Print book filters to narrow results to items found in our building

 4   Here’s an explanation of the information and features available for print books:

 A   The icon for each book will show the book cover if it’s available in the system. 

 B   The subject headings (separated by semicolons) below the item’s citation information offer alternative search terms you can try.

 C   The location and status line shows the book’s location inside the library building (see the Library Building & Amenities Guide for TJ Library’s floor plans), as well as call number, circulation status, and due date (if currently checked out). Most of TJ Library’s print books are shelved on Levels 1, 4, and 5, but occasionally, you'll see other locations. If you need help locating a shelved book, ask at the Public Service Desk. Text yourself the book’s call number to help you locate it on the shelves.

 D   The Show More link will toggle open a list of other UM System libraries that own the same book. UMSL usually appears at the top of the list, but not always.

 E   Click the Place Request link to have a TJ-owned book pulled and held for you, or to have a book shipped to TJ Library from one of the other UM System libraries. See more about this action on the Requesting Print Books page.

Features of print book results (A through E)



Electronic books come from many different vendors (such as EBSCO, ProQuest, and JSTOR). Sometimes we purchase them individually, but they often come to us in vendor-curated packages that we don’t control.

 5   To find items classified as eBooks, choose the eBooks filter in the Limit by Source Type section.

eBooks filter in the Limit by Source Type section

 6   To find eBooks purchased by UMSL you should look for UMSL Electronic Resources in the Content Provider section of filters. You may need to click the Show More link to see the full list, and then sort the list alphabetically to more easily locate UMSL Electronic Resources (highlighted in gold in the image below). Note that there are several alternative options for eBooks in the list.

Using the Content Provider facet to find UMSL Electronic Resources

 7   Here’s an explanation of the features unique to eBooks:

 F   The eBook database containing the result appears at the end of the citation information.

 G   Most eBook results will include a PDF Full Text link. We normally recommend using this link to view an eBook through your browser rather than downloading it. However . . . 

 H   When a book is available for full download (and sometimes when it’s not), you’ll see a Full Download link. You will have access to the download for up to 21 days, and the download will appear in your My Library Account loans. Viewing a book you’ve downloaded normally requires special software (Adobe Digital Editions). You cannot view it on a Kindle or other commercial e-reader. 

  I    Expand the Table of Contents or Most Relevant Pages link to jump directly to the section of the book that is most relevant to your research.

Features of ebook results (F through I)

Options for downloading an ebook