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Book of the Year: 2017-18: Home

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot

Introduction to the Book of the Year 2017-18

The Book of the Year Program encourages reading and discussion among students, staff, and community members.  Whether fiction or nonfiction, books are chosen to serve as stepping stones to more books and more discussion by introducing compelling voices that help to illuminate aspects of our world which may be unfamiliar.  Books are also chosen to help augment themes, concepts, or actions that are relevant to the diversity of courses and programs at the college.  Our ideal book is one that cannot be put down, one whose characters, places, and events linger in the reader's mind long after the last page has been read.

Useful and Relevant Search Words

These are some of the search words that students may need for a research project related to this Book of the Year. Other words may be useful in addition to those listed below. Consult your textbook, class notes, or assignment guidelines for topic ideas. Consider what words you use to describe the issues, topics, or concerns that interest you.


Use specific words. Use only one or two words. Try both plural and singular forms. Try varying combinations. Try words for specific issues relevant to the topic.Try both technical and common usage words. Try names of relevant places or persons. When searching for topics relating to African Americans, remember that different words have been used in the past, and titles of older books will remain unchanged. Also, many search engines will interpret the hyphen symbol as a "NOT" operator, such that African-Americans may be searched as, Africans but NOT Americans, so it's a good search strategy to leave a space, rather than the hyphen, when searching for any hyphenated words. 

African American men

African American women

Black Americans

Medical research

Cancer research

Medical ethics

HELA cells

Research ethics

Call Numbers for Browsing

College of the Redwoods Library Call Numbers

Books in College of the Redwoods library are filed by the Library of Congress system that uses letter-number combinations assigned by subject, so that most books about the same subject will be filed together on the shelf. HSU Library uses this same system, and so do most colleges and universities in the United States. Browse the titles on the shelf in the sections listed below for relevant research topics. 

  • E 185 African American History
  • HQ 1150 - 1160 African American Women
  • HV 9000 African Americans and social issues, problems
  • QH Cell biology
  • RC Medicine
  • RC 260-275 Cancer, Cancer Research

Public (or County) Library Call Numbers

Most public or county libraries in the United States will use the Dewey Decimal system, which uses numbers, and each number section represents a subject, so that books about the same subject are filed together on the shelf. Below are listed some number sections that are relevant to this subject. Remember to also check the Juvenile or children's collection, the YA or Young Adult collection and the Reference collection.

  • 305 - 345 Race Relations, Civil Rights
  • 574.8 Tissue, cellular, molecular biology
  • 610 Medical sciences and medicine
  • 921 - 925 African American History, biographies

For Del Norte and Distance Education students

Online resources are set up to be accessible to all students from any location at any time. You may be prompted to login using your WebAdvisor ID and your eight digit birth date.  Physical format books from Eureka can be requested and delivered to Del Norte, and vice versa. 

Citation Styles

Always ask your instructor what citation style should be used for research projects. See below for links to helpful resources.

Faculty Librarian

Cathy Cox's picture
Cathy Cox
Cathy Cox
Library Director
College of the Redwoods
7351 Tompkins Hill Rd.
Eureka, CA 95501