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Determining Availability of Books

It is a very good idea to verify the availability of a book before proposing it as a meeting topic; a book that is out of print, or very expensive, or difficult to locate will almost guarantee that the meeting will fail since few people will have read the book and discussion will be minimal.

The availability of a book basically depends on how easily it can be found locally. If enough copies can be borrowed or purchased for a reasonable price without having to travel too far or investing too much time in hunting for the book, the book should be considered sufficiently available to justify using it as a meeting topic.

The tabs below give some suggestions about places where books can be found, some of which will not be obvious to most people.

Important: If you find that any of the information on this page is not accurate when you try to use it, contact the webmaster. Be sure to mention the corrections if you know them!

To see if a given book is available at the London Public Library, follow this procedure:

  1. Go to the online catalogue of the London Public Library.
  2. Click on the Advanced Search link.
  3. On the Advanced Search form, go to the first dropdown box, which should currently say "keyword" and change it to "title". In the field beside it, type the title of the film, e.g. "Time Travellers Strictly Cash". In the Format dropdown box, choose "ANY". In the Language dropdown box, choose "English". In the Collection dropdown box, choose "ANY" to ensure that you are searching all of the library branches. Click on the Search button at the bottom of the form.
  4. If the search finds items that match your search conditions, you will see a list of those items along with information about which locations have it. Make sure that the items listed are the ones you wanted and not different books with the same or similar titles. Please note that this search will return non-books as well so ignore those if appropriate.

If a given book isn't available at the London Public Library, it may be available at other public libraries in Ontario or further afield via Interlibrary Loan. Consult a librarian for help in doing an Interlibrary Loan. Please note that you can only obtain a single copy of a book in this way and that it can take weeks or months to get the book via this channel. This is not a way to get several copies of a book in order to make it a viable candidate for a meeting topic.