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Black History Month: Books and eBooks

This research guide highlights library and non-library resources to use in completing Black History Month projects.

Finding Books with Koha

When searching our online catalog, Koha, be sure to utilize the Advanced Search option since it allows you to search using different criteria such as subject, author or keyword, as well as choose a specific format such as eBook (electronic book).  Try a catalog search in the box below.

Search Suggestions

An example of a subject heading search in the online catalog would include typing one of the subject headings listed below in the empty text box next to the subject field.  Examples of subject headings:

African-American History

African-American Literature

African-American Culture

Please note, if you want information on a specific African-American topic, below are sample subject headings for those.

African-American Artists

African-American Physicians

Famous African-Americans

African-American Scientists

African-American Poetry

Finding Books on the Shelves

When browsing the rows of books you will notice that the Library organizes its collection with the Dewey Decimal Classification system (DDC). The call numbers located on the spine of the book coordinate with the call numbers listed in the online catalog and indicates the area where the book is located in the rows.

Each number in the DDC represents predefined subjects and the books for this subject are located in the areas.  Popular call numbers are highlight below.

323.0           Civil and Political Rights

326.0           Slavery and Emancipation

704.0396     African American Art

781-783      Jazz/Blues/Negro Spirituals

810.9896     African American Literature

973.0496     Civil Rights History

After a search when viewing your search results, you might notice that some titles have an alpha character as part of their call number.  These alpha characters signify which collection holds the item.  Listed below are widely used examples: 

B             Biography collection

BLU        Audio Visual collection

CD          Audio Visual collection

DVD       Audio Visual collection

J              Juvenile collection

JB            Juvenile Biography collection

H             Special Collections

R             Reference collection

YA           Young Adult collection

Z              Special Collections




Digital Media Zone (DMZ) eBooks offer thousands of free ebooks and audiobooks to choose from. Checkout 5 at a time for up to a two week checkout using your Kindle, iPad, iPod, Nook, Sony Reader, and many more devices. New titles added several times a month in partnership with 3 other north Alabama library systems.  Visit any library branch to set up your library account which then gives you access to eBooks.  Select the link or use the search or go straight to