Materials in the library's collection - including books, e-books, DVDs, and many other formats - can be located through the Find Anything search box on the library homepage. Articles can be found with the same search.
To find books by Mahatma Gandhi in the library, go to the Olin Library website, click "Advanced Search." On the next page, click "Books, Films, and More," select "Author/creator" "contains," and type "mahatma gandhi." Notice the official heading for Mahatma Gandhi is Gandhi, Mahatma, 1869-1948.
To search for books about Gandhi, do the same kind of "Advanced Search," and again click "Books, Films, and More," but select "Subject" "contains." Notice that there are many more books about Gandhi.
You can do similar searches for books beyond Olin in WorldCat using the following search strings. For Gandhi as author, search for "au:Gandhi, Mahatma, 1869-1948." For Gandhi as subject, search for "su:Gandhi, Mahatma, 1869-1948."
Specific call numbers for books are found in the online catalog, but when browsing the shelves, it helps to know something about them. Books about Gandhi can be found shelved in the library under DS 481 .G3 in the Library of Congress call number system. There are other relevant books, films, etc., in other locations in the library and online. One way to find out what we have is to browse Gandhi as an author in the catalog or as a subject.
A full listing of Library of Congress call numbers can be found here: http://www.loc.gov/catdir/cpso/lcco/
The digits in these call numbers are read as counting numbers, not as decimals as in the Dewey Decimal system. This means that DS 481 is found between DS 480 and DS 490, well after DS 4 or DS 48.
This arrangement of books by subject matter makes shelf-browsing convenient. If you find a useful book, the books nearby on the shelf are likely to be closely related in topic.