On the library catalog search page, the "Limit your Search" function provides options to help you narrow your search results including how you'd like to access resources (online, physical) and in what format (book, journal/periodical, microform, etc.).
Looking for books not held by Cornell
If the book you are looking for is unavailable through Cornell, you can search WorldCat, an international catalog that includes Cornell's holdings, from the library catalog results page by clicking the "Request from Libraries Worldwide" link.
Catalogs: Learn to search library catalogs effectively to locate books and other relevant materials
What to do if it's not available
If the catalog record indicates that the material is "charged," it means that someone else has signed out the book. When you click on "request," the system figures out the fastest way to get it to you. If it's a recall, that takes about two weeks. Borrow Direct is the fastest delivery:
If we do not have a book in our holdings, or if the book you need is already checked out: Borrow Direct
Click on the link to connect to Borrow Direct, search for the book and if it's available from another Ivy League university (plus: Johns Hopkins, MIT, Duke, University of Chicago, & Stanford), we will have it shipped to Cornell. The borrowing period is for eight weeks, renewable once. Books arrive in 3-4 business days.
If we do not have an item that you need (any item -- journal article, DVD, dissertation, etc.): Interlibrary Loan Services
Use ILLiad (InterLibrary Loan Internet Accessible Database) to request that we borrow materials from other libraries or have articles scanned for you. Loan period is usually one month. Items can arrive in as little as a few days (or even the next day, in the case of scans) to a couple of weeks (This service will not work for items that Cornell already owns, but are checked out by other borrowers).
Use the Subject Browse feature to discover books in the catalog :