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Self-Care Books: Library Guide

This guide will walk you through how to find self-care books among the library's physical and digital collections.

Did you know the library isn’t just for academic materials? You can find plenty of books to help you care for your wellbeing here, too. There are lots of options – let’s walk through the process!

Think about what self-care looks like to you. It might mean finding a book about psychology or self-help. It might mean finding a book about exercise or healthy cooking. Or maybe it just means finding something to read just for fun to help you unwind and relax. What do YOU need to take care of yourself right now?

Searching for books

The easiest way to search for books is to use the library’s Summon discovery service. This search tool searches all our books, physical and digital.

  1. Begin by filtering to “book /eBook” under content type.
  2. Check off “Items with full text online” if you’d prefer to read an eBook.
  3. Check off “Items in the library catalog” to view only physical items you can check out from the library.

Summon filters recommended for finding books

Finding books on shelves

Whether you’re locating a book you ­found in Summon search or simply browsing, if you want to find a physical book, you’ll need to know how to read a call number.

The books in our library have call numbers assigned to them to help library users locate them. This call number indicates where on the shelves the book is located.

For example, the book System Error: Where Big Tech Went Wrong and How We Can Reboot, by Rob Reich, Mehran Sahami, and Jeremy M. Weinstein, has the call number T 14.5 .R4444 2021. This number is affixed to the spine of the book, and it indicates that the book is located on the shelf with other books with a call number beginning with T. The books will be arranged in alphabetical and numerical order. (Ask a librarian for help if needed!)

Even if you’re not looking for a specific book, call numbers can help you find books on a general topic. Books are arranged according to topic, so if you find one that interests you, there will be others nearby that might also be worth considering.


Topics to consider

Healthy eating: Consider The Dorm Room Diet: The 10-Step Program For Creating A Healthy Lifestyle Plan That Really Works, by Daphne Oz. It can be found at RA777.3 O9 2010. You may also be able to find other books about healthy eating in the same area. 

Physical fitness: Consider The No Sweat Exercise Plan: Lose Weight, Get Healthy, and Live Longer, by Harvey B. Simon. It can be found at RA781 .S5647 2006. Or, look for other books about fitness nearby. 

Mental health: Consider Pocket Therapy for Anxiety, by Edmund J. Bourne, Ph.D. and Lorna Garano. You can read it online as an eBook. Or you might find other eBooks on anxiety, meditation, or other mental health topics by searching in Summon

Fiction: Browse our popular fiction collections, shelved in order of author last name. (If you are facing the windows on the first floor, the popular reading is on the furthest shelf to your right.) 

Need help? 

Reach out to a librarian at, or 414-277-7180. Or visit us in person, and ask for help at the front desk. 

If you have suggestions for how to make this page better, please contact Elizabeth Jerow, Assistant Library Director (