Once you have found a catalog record for a book you would like to look at, you will use the call number for that item to find it on the shelf. The link, Guide to Reading the Call Numbers can help you understand how call numbers determine shelf position.
In addition to the Library's collection of print books, the catalog gives you access to a large collection of books in electronic format. The bulk of these items are chosen for their appropriateness for college level research work. In most cases you will not need to read the entire book, but rather browse the table of contents and the index at the end of the work for specific sections dealing with your topic. In most cases, you may print a chapter or 60 pages of text.
Most of the ebook collections allow you to download the full text to a hand held reader. The procedure to follow will vary with the type of devise. See the Research Guide "e-books Guide" for specific information and a video tutorial that explains the process.