Use this guide to quickly find reputable sources and save time on your research! Contact your subject librarian or the reference librarians if you need more help. For an overview of how to research efficiently, see Steps of the Research Process.

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Finding Materials in the Library

Search CityCat to find books, e-books, disks and more. There are many ways to search, such as Title, Author and Keyword.

Example: here is a search link for Patrick Moore's Practical Astronomy Series, mostly e-books.  (Use the barcode on the CCSF ID Card to read e-books when off-campus.)

Books in the library are organized by call number according to the Library of Congress classification system which groups items by subject, so you can often simply browse the shelves. Here are some relevant subjects and their call numbers:

General Astronomy QB1-139
  Practical & spherical astronomy QB140-237
  Geodesy QB275-343
  Theoretical astronomy & celestial mechanics QB349-421
  Astrogeology QB455-456
  Astrophysics QB460-466
  Non-optical methods of astronomy QB468-480
  Descriptive astronomy
  Solar system QB500.5-785
  Stars QB799-903
  Cosmogony. Cosmology QB980-991

Reference Sources

Reference books are great for short overviews and background information. There are also reference resources in our database section.


Use databases for specialized and the most up-to-date information, especially academic (scholarly) sources that are not available for free on the Web. See the Articles & Databases page for a full list of databases available.

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Web Sites

Use Web sites for government information, statistics, and current events. It's very important to carefully evaluate Web sites for accuracy, currency, bias and credibility.

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