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A curated guide for sociology students

When to Use Books

"When to Use Books" above an illustrated person browsing a bookshelf of literature. background is splotched colors in orange, teal, and yellow

As research sources, books are excellent means for identifying various areas of interest within a larger subject. 

In short, books have:

  • in-depth coverage of a subject
  • overview of a big topic
  • background information
  • lists of additional sources, or bibliography

Because they take more time to write than an article, they typically are the most thoroughly edited but not always the most timely. The average book is also 200-300 pages, some having many more, so it may not be the best if you're running behind in your research.

So unless you're coming up on a deadline or need the most recent information on your topic, books will always be an excellent resource for your research needs. The Fresno State Library provides print and digital editions of thousands of books; all you have to do is look!

Finding Books @ the Library

Finding Books Using OneSearch

The best way to locate books, in both electronic and print format, is by using our OneSearch tool, located prominently on the library's website. To learn more, visit the library's guide to using OneSearch

For Browsers

Browsing Can be An Effective Strategy long as you have the time! Browsing is not ideal if you're in a time crunch, but can help inspire students and other researchers who may be unsure where to start. Observing a collection in real-time can be a great way to see what's already been done and where we can go next. 

Relevant Library of Congress Classifications for Sociology

Classifications denote the primary subject. An inherently multidisciplinary field, "Sociology" materials can overlap with other subjects. The following is a list of call number areas for browsing the library stacks as classified by the Library of Congress.

Most Relevant

HM - Sociology (General)

HN - Social history and conditions; Social problems; Social reform

HQ - The family; Marriage; Woman; Sexuality

HS - Societies: secret, benevolent, etc.

HT - Communities; Classes; Races

HV - Social pathology; Social and public welfare; Criminology

HX - Socialism; Communism; Anarchism

Z5703 - Subject Bibliography: Criminology

Z161-7166 - Parts dealing with Subject bibliography: Political and Social Sciences

Closely Related

BJ - Ethics

BF - Psychology

GN - Anthropology

GT - Manners and Customs

HA -Statistics

HB - Demography

JF - Political institutions and public administration

JZ - International relations

P - Communication and linguistics, including sociolinguistics

Most of our general location is located on the Lower Level and organized by call number as seen in the picture on the right. 

Librarian Picks

Interlibrary Loan

Didn't Find What You Were Looking For? Request It From Another Library. 

The Library offers two options for requesting materials from other libraries:


  • Find and request books and media from all 23 CSU libraries. 
  • Materials arrive in 2-4 business days
  • Most books have 60 day lending periods, no renewals. Media items (DVD's, audio CD's, etc.) usually 30 days, no renewals
  • Select the CSU+ Books and Media collection in Onesearch to find and request materials

Interlibrary Loan

  • Request articles and books not in CSU+ (not textbooks) through interlibrary loan
  • Books typically arrive in 7-10 business days, articles in 2-3 business days
  • Loan period for books varies, as is set by lending library. Articles arrive in PDF format and are accessible for 30 days
  • To request an item, log into your interlibrary loan account, and fill out a new request form