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SSI1-194: Technologies of Power: Secondary Sources (Books)

Using Primo

Primo is a library search tool for finding materials in the Collins Library and Summit libraries.  You can search for books, selected articles and more in a single search box.

Strategies for Finding Books

1.  Start with specific titles suggested in subject encyclopedia entries.

2.  Identify the Library of Congress Subject Headings for that book to identify additional books on the topic.

3.  If required for your assignment, make sure that the book is scholarly. 

4.  Use the Preview feature, if available, to skim through the contents via Google Books.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

All books in the catalog are assigned Library of Congress Subject Headings, which is kind of like an official version of tagging. You can find each book's subject headings on the catalog record. 

Here are some examples of potentially relevant subject headings. Click on any of these subject headings to find even more books on the topic.

Biotechnology -- Moral and ethical aspects

Cybernetics -- History

Punishment -- Philosophy


Is it scholarly?

Here are some clues to look for in the catalog record when you are evaluating whether a book is scholarly or popular:

  • The publisher is either a university press or an academic publisher (such as Routledge, Wiley, Blackwell, etc.).
  • The description of the book includes "notes and references."

When you have the book in hand, and still aren't sure if it is scholarly, you might want to do a little more digging, perhaps with a couple of quick Google searches:

  • Who is the author?  What are the author's credentials or other sources of expertise?
  • Does the publisher have a website?  If so, what types of books does it publish and what is the process for submitting work for consideration?

What does the colored text next to my search results mean?

The colored text lets you know the availability of an item.

  • Green text = item is available at Collins Library.  Click on the title, then the "Get It" tab or "View It" tab (left side).
  • Yellow text = item is available at a Summit library. Use the "Get It" tab to submit a Summit request.
  • Gray text = item is not available at Collins Library. If it is a book, you can submit a Summit request. If the item is an article, it is not available full-text. Submit an interlibrary loan request.

Search Primo

Primo Search Tips

  • Use the pull-down scoping options to search Collins, Summit and Articles OR Collins and Summit, OR just Collins.
  • Use quotes to search for "exact titles."
  • Use the filters on the right side to quickly narrow your search.
  • Sign in with your Puget Sound username and password to gain access to online resources and request items from other libraries.

What are scopes?

Scopes are different collections to search. Change scopes by using the drop down menu next to the search box. The default scope is 'Collins, Summit, and Articles.' It includes items owned, subscribed to, or accessible by Collins Library, and items owned by the 39 academic libraries in the Orbis Cascade Alliance. Selected articles subscribed to by Collins Library are available. Search individual databases for more comprehensive results.

Other scope options are:

Collins and Summit

  • Items owned, subscribed to, or accessible by Collins Library.
  • Collections of 39 academic libraries in the Orbis Cascade Alliance.


  • Only owned, subscribed to, or accessible by Collins Library.
  • Includes ebooks, print books, cds, scores, DVDs, course reserves, government documents and more.
  • Journal titles and article titles are searchable.

Reading a Call Number

Collins Library uses the Library of Congress classification scheme to organize books on the shelves. Follow these tips to find the book you need.


Tweet and Streets Call Number

  • Start with the top line. It is in alphabetical order. Ex. HM
  • The second line is a whole number.  Ex. 742
  • The third line is  a combination of a letter and numbers. Read the letter alphabetically. Read the number as a decimal, eg. Y.23, Y.34, Y.344, Y.4, etc. Ex. .G47 (*Some call numbers have more than one combination letter-number line.)
  • The last line is the year the book was published. Read in chronological order. Ex. 2001, 2005, 2010, 2015, etc. Ex. 2012

Use the library location chart and map to find where the book is located.