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Library Research Guides

SW 522 - Basic Social Work Research

Searching for Books vs. Articles

  • Think in broader terms when searching for books in the library catalog. The catalog is not searching the full text of the book and there may not be an abstract describing the book content. 

  • Books take longer to publish compared with most journal articles. Journal articles, gray literature and dissertations will likely contain the most current research. 

Step 3 - Find the Past & Current Research - Books

Mirlyn is the name of the library catalog at University of Michigan. The library catalog lists all of the resources available at all library locations, including videos, archives, special collections, journal titles, books and electronic resources. There are actually 2 different Mirlyn catalogs available.

Video Introduction to Mirlyn
The Mirlyn catalog allows you to search the entire library collection from a single search box, retrieving many potentially relevant titles, and then to quickly narrow down the results by choosing facets or “narrowing options” presented on the left side of the screen. Narrow the search results by selecting options listed along the left-hand side of the results page. You can narrow your results by subject, discipline, library, format, date range, language and other options.

You will find a link to the Mirlyn catalog on any library page with the MLibrary banner. The Mirlyn link is at the top of the library page, above the blue banner.


  • If you use Boolean Operators in your Mirlyn search (AND, OR, NOT) make sure they are capitalized when you are combining search terms.
    Example: juveniles AND gangs
  • When searching for a phrase in Mirlyn make sure you use quotation marks so the words are combined.
    Example:  "child welfare"


 Back to the main page on the 7 steps of the research process