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How Do I Find...?

Getting Started


    To find a book, search TOPCAT, the online catalog for Alverno and seven other libraries in the Milwaukee area that belong to SWITCH. To learn more about TOPCAT, see the TOPCAT Account Help page.

    Journal Articles

    If you already have an article that you want to find, use Journals at Alverno to see if an article can be found in an online or print journal that Alverno subscribes to OR search TOPCAT to see if Alverno or another SWITCH Library owns the journal for the article. To learn more, see Finding Full Text on the library FAQ page.

    To find articles about a specific topic, start with Databases By Subject to select a database you can search to find articles about your topic. To learn more about looking for articles in a database, see the How Do I Locate Journal & Newspaper Articles [PDF] guide.

    Newspaper Articles

    To find a newspaper article, use one of the databases found under Newspapers on the Databases By Subject page.


    To see if Alverno subscribes to a journal, either online or print, use Journals at Alverno.  To see if a journal is owned by Alverno or another SWITCH library, search TOPCAT by journal title. If you want to find journals for a specific subject, use "Browse journals by subject" in Journals at Alverno.

    Videos or CDs

    To find videos or CDs, use the ADVANCED SEARCH feature of TOPCAT and select either VIDEO/DVD or MUSIC RECRDING using the drop-down menu for Material Type. Equipment is available to watch or listen to DVDs, VHS tapes, and CDs in the library.


    Library databases can be used to find journal and newspaper articles. For an alphabetic list of databases that the Alverno library subscribes to, see Databases A to Z. To find a database with articles for a particular subject area, see Databases By Subject.


    To find an item on reserve, search the course reserves to find the call number of the item. Once you have the call number, you can ask for the item and check it out at the Library Help Desk.

    Web Sites

    Best Web Sites are quality web sites that have been selected by Alverno Librarians in a variety of subject areas. For help evaluating the quality of web sites found using Google or other search engines, see the Source Evaluation Guide.

    Material Not Owned by Alverno

    Items from SWITCH libraries can be requested via TOPCAT and delivered to Alverno. Other items not found at Alverno can be requested through InterLibrary Loan (ILL). Please see an Alverno Librarian for help requesting items from other libraries.


    For library-related questions or research help, email an Alverno Librarian or call the Research Assistance Desk at 414-382-6062.


    Try the library FAQ or our TOPCAT FAQ