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How to...Find Books: Frequently Asked Questions

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Library Catalog: Frequently Asked Questions

The library catalog is the best way to search for books. 


Frequently Asked Questions:

- What's in the library catalog?
- How do I look up a book?
- How do I check out books, DVDs, and other library items?

- How can I request a book or DVD?
- Do you provide Interlibrary Loan services?


  • What's in the library catalog?
    • Unless you change the search settings, the NOVA Libraries catalog will search all print books, e-books, DVDs, and online videos at all of the NOVA campus & center libraries.

  • How do I look up a book?
    • Use the NOVA Libraries online catalog and search by title, author, subject, or keywords.
    • If you want to search books only:
      • Scroll down below the search box to Format and select Books.

  • How do I check out books, DVDs, and other library items?
    • Current NOVA students, faculty, and staff must bring their NOVACard to the library for check-out. Your NOVACard doubles as your library card.
    • Community patrons (residents of the local area) must bring an orange community patron card to a campus library in order to check out limited numbers and types of materials. If you need a community patron card please bring a photo ID and proof of current local address to your local NOVA library.

  • How can I request a book or DVD?

    • Follow the instructions under the "Request" tab. The same instructions will be used for each of the following situations:
      • The item you want is available for check-out and you want us to pull it from the shelf and hold it for you (typical hold time is one week)
      • The item is available but you want to pick it up at a different campus library.
      • The item is checked out by someone else and you want to place yourself on the waiting list.
    • If the NOVA Libraries do not own or subscribe to something and you think we should, please use the Suggestion Box.


  • Do you provide Interlibrary Loan services?
    • If the item you want is not owned by the NOVA Libraries, we may be able to borrow it for you from another college or university (interlibrary loan).

      While we do place interlibrary loan requests for faculty, student loans of this type are at campus discretion.  Please call your campus library to see if interlibrary loan service can be provided for the item you need.