Guide to Using Hekman Library Online

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Finding Books & More

The Hekman Library provides many discovery tools that help you locate non-journal sources, including books, conference proceedings, maps, government documents, DVDs, CDs, microforms, etc.   

Hekman Library Catalog

Click on the image below to search the holdings (paper and electronic) of the Hekman Library.


Have questions about how to search the library's catalog?

Want to know more about the library's call number system?

How do I get books that Hekman Library doesn't own? Either use MeLCat or request the item through InterLibrary Loan

MeLCat (Michigan eLibrary Catalog)

MeLCat Logo (official Hekman logo)

MeLCat is a state-wide database representing the holdings of nearly every library in Michigan - more than 6 million unique book titles. When you search MeLCat, you may request that an item be sent to Hekman Library for pick up at the main circulation desk on 2nd floor. The turn around time is 3-5 days.

In many cases, MeLCat will replace Interlibrary loan, especially for books held in Michigan libraries. Interlibrary loan is still the preferred method of delivery for books held outside Michigan and for all journal article requests.

Searching WorldCat

WorldCat is a database containing records for the holdings of 8,000+ libraries worldwide - more than 80 million unique items. WorldCat is ideal for locating nearly every published item dealing with your research topic. If Calvin's library doesn't own the item you want, click on Request Item and fill out the form. You will be contacted when the item arrives, usually in 3-5 days. Or search Google Books (below) to see if you can find an electronic version of the item.

You can begin your search below, or go to the WorldCat site.

European Library

The European Library is a discovery service that provides access to the collections of the national libraries of 46 European countries, plus a growing number of research libraries. Content accessible from the new service includes rare books, manuscripts, images, and video. The service allows users to cross-search 200 million records, covering more than 24 million pages of full-text information and more than 7 million digital objects.

WorldCat will contain many of the resources found in this database, but if you need deep access to European sources, this database will be valuable.

Local and Regional Libraries

MeLCat is the preferred method for searching for books not owned by Hekman Library. But if you need a library resource not available at Hekman Library, and you're willing to drive, you may want to check out the catalogs of these local and regional libraries.  Before you travel, though, be sure to check that library's policies regarding guest access to books and other services (databases, computers, printing and photocopying etc). 


Grand Rapids Area Libraries
West Michigan Area Libraries
Lansing Area Libraries
Ann Arbor/Detroit Area Libraries

Google Book Search

Google Book Search

Google Books is a project to scan books of more than two dozen large universities worldwide, as well as provide access to online versions of recent titles from certain publishers.  Millions of books are now accessible and the collection is growing rapidly. Google provides two types of access to these scanned books.

  • Full view: Mostly books published before 1926, but many newer ones are available too
  • Limited preview: Generally post-1926 books. Often the "limited preview" option provides enough content for a research project. Or, the "limited preview" can be used to determine if the book should be requested through Interlibrary Loan.