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University at Buffalo Libraries

Student Support

Popular Fiction in the UB Libraries

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[The following post was written by University at Buffalo librarian Don Hartman.]

The UB Libraries purchase a fair amount of popular fiction (chiefly New York Times bestsellers and award winning novels) but locating popular fiction can be challenging.  Unlike public libraries, which shelve their fictional works either alphabetically by author’s last name or in categories by genre (e.g. mysteries, romance, historical, Sci-Fi, horror. etc.), academic libraries tend to shelve their fictional works in call number order.  Lockwood Library (the UB library with the largest holding of fiction) shelves its fiction in call number order—which means most fictional works are roughly grouped by author, but with works of criticism/nonfiction interspersed—a far from perfect arrangement for those interested in fiction titles only.

The Libraries’ catalog provides a method for folks interested in browsing the Libraries’ holdings of novels and short stories:


  • Connect to the Advanced mode of the library catalog.
  • Under “Format” click on Fiction, then click on the “Advanced Search” button to run your search.
  • For recent popular fiction, go to the right-hand side of the screen and change the “Sort By” button selection to “Date Descending”.
  • On the left-side portion of the screen, there are filters for further limiting your search by subjects, languages, genres, etc.


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