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Full-Text Books: Local Libraries (WorldCat)

Use your local libraries!

While the Walden University Library aims to provide as much content as possible, we can't provide access to everything. Some items are not available in online formats. It's also difficult for us to develop a collection based on local issues, because our students are all over the world.

Depending on where you live, you may have a number of local libraries—both public and academic—with readily available research materials. Get to know your local libraries. The more access points you have for research, the better your scholarship will be.


Public libraries

If you have a library card to your local public library, you should be able to borrow and/or view the available books and journals. In addition, your local library may:

  • be part of a larger consortium (county-, state- or province-wide), giving you access to a wider range of materials
  • have interlibrary loan, so you can order books and items from other libraries

Academic libraries

Many college and university libraries allow outside community members to view their collections (especially if they're publicly funded). Though you probably won't be able to borrow books without arranging special privileges, often you can:

  • view books and journals on-site
  • make photocopies of articles or book chapters
  • potentially get a guest login to use their research databases from within the library, then save or print articles


Borrowing privileges vary widely. Check out the websites for the libraries in your area to find their borrowing policies, or contact the libraries directly.

Look up items in WorldCat

WorldCat is a combined catalog of libraries all over the world. You can search for a variety of items then enter your location to see if local libraries have what you want.


Let's say we are interested in locating the book, Democracy and Education: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Education, by John Dewey. 

  1. Select the Books tab above the search box and enter the book title in the search box.

  2. Click search and look for the correct result. 

    Tip: you may see several similar results, but you will want to select the result with the most current copyright.

  3. Click on the title of the book you want; on the following screen, use the Enter your location box located under Find a copy in the library to see a list of libraries that have the book you need.

    Tip: Using your zip code for your location works great.


Finding a journal article follows the same basic steps

  1. Select the Articles tab above the search box.
  2. Enter the title of the article in the search box.
  3. Under the search box, enter the title of the journal in the Limit to journal/magazine box.


Before you visit the library, it's best to contact them to confirm that they have what you want and that you would have access to it.