Navigating Libraries’ Science Sections

Scientific libraries are a great repository of knowledge. Scientists of all disciplines gather there to read the latest publications from their peers, critique the works of fellow scientists, and expand the limits of human understanding.

Most libraries will have a section where scientists can search for the publications they want. This laborious process, however, can pose a number of challenges.

The following are some tips to help you navigate the science sections of libraries.

Consult the Online Catalogue

Most libraries will maintain an online catalogue of all their publications. It is advisable to log in to this catalogue to ascertain the availability of the publication for which you are searching.

Some libraries will also have a remote-access option. This allows you to utilize the library’s resources from your home or office, meaning you don’t have to visit the library in person.

After establishing the availability of a desired resource, you can either order the publication online or visit the library to pick up a hard copy.

Consult a Librarian

If you decide to physically visit the library, you may find it a bit overwhelming, with reading spaces crowded with academics and books missing from their designated locations.

To save yourself the hassle of a painstaking search, you might consider seeking a librarian’s assistance. Librarians are generally familiar with the entire facility, and may know the whereabouts of the publication you’re looking for.

With luck, he or she will be able to guide you to the sought-after publication’s location.


Libraries have undergone radical changes over the course of the last couple decades, with the presence online of most publications leading to a movement away from traditional brick-and-mortar libraries.

Nevertheless, the millions of scientific journals available in hardcopy format are still of great value today, and there will always be reasons to visit the library – regardless of technological changes.