THEO 5102: Research Methods
Finding Books in the Brandel Catalog
Use the Brandel Library online catalog to find items in the Brandel Library. You can expand your search to find and order items from other Illinois academic libraries.
Searching the catalog
- The default search setting is "keyword search."
- This is the broadest search option, useful when you do not know authors or titles and are unsure of what subject terms to use.
- It usually retrieves more items, but also retrieves more irrelevant items, than other search methods because it searches all of the information fields, not just author, title, or subject.
- For the sake of efficiency and precision, keyword searches should be the method of last resort.
- They are sometimes helpful at the end of the bibliographical research stage, to ensure that you ave not missed anything that might be useful.
- The drop down box offers other search categories, including title, author, and subject, all of which will retrieve more precise groups of items and thus require less sorting through irrelevant items.
- For a more detailed search using limitors, click on "Advanced Search" below the box.
- If you would like to search for items in the 86 I-Share libraries, select "I-Share Catalog" from the drop down menu to the right of the search box.
Browsing the Shelves
- An additional research method is browsing, which can be done
- by going physically to the shelves
- or online by browsing by call number (available under the Classic Search option, but not in the default search window or the Advanced search).
- If you have found a relevant book or books, it is usually wise to look nearby to see if additional titles shelved there are also useful for your research.
- This can turn up important works that you otherwise may overlook.
- It is advisable to browse in every call number range from which you have books, but especially in the areas of major concentrations of the books you are using.
Evaluating the Sources
- Book reviews in scholarly journals can be very useful in assessing the value of the books that you use, including their relative value to other titles in the field.
- Searching for reviews in databases can be time well-spent in your research and writing.
- Even when you differ from the review's assessment, it can be helpful in formulating your view.
Search for books from thousands of libraries worldwide and have them delivered to you here at North Park. This service is free to all North Park students, faculty, and staff. Because these items are coming from out of state they may take longer to arrive than I-Share items.
- NPTS is a member of the Association of Chicago Theological Schools (ACTS).
- With a signed card from the Theological Librarian, students may use the resources and check out materials from the libraries of other member schools
- Catholic Theological Union
- Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary
- Lutheran School of Theology / McCormick Theological Seminary
- Trinity International University / Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
- University of St. Mary of the Lake / Mundelein Seminary
- Chicago Theological Seminary
- Northern Seminary
- Onsite use of one or more of these libraries (in addition to obtaining materials by loan) may be a helpful part of your research.
- If you would like to search for items in the approximately 90 I-Share libraries, click on the "I-Share Search" at the top of the Brandel Library Home Page."
- You can order items from other I-Share libraries free of charge.
- You will need to create an I-Share account (which is not the same as your NPU Brandel account) and establish a username and password (which does not need to be your NPU username and password).
- An I-Share account can be created by clicking on the "create a new account" tab on the screen that appears when you attempt to request a book.
- Books ordered through the I-Share catalog may arrive in 4-5 days, but most arrive within 7-14 days.
- You will receive an email from Brandel Library when they arrive.
- You can renew most items online through the catalog.