One of the best places to start research is in the Five-College Library Catalog. All books are listed by their AUTHORS, TITLES, and SUBJECTS, and you can also use the KEYWORD function to search.
Use an AUTHOR search if you know who wrote the book you're seeking, or a TITLE search if you know what it's called.
If you're looking for books on a particular topic, try KEYWORD searching. It's not likely to yield a complete, or completely relevant, list of locally-owned books on any particular topic, but it's a good way to start; type in a common language characterization of your topic, say "spanish-speaking immigrants", select titles from the resulting list that interest you, note which official subject headings are assigned to those titles, then click on them to do a more thorough SUBJECT search.
SUBJECT searching, as such, requires that you use the exact words or phrases libraries have chosen to describe your topic; for example, libraries list at least some books about Spanish-speaking immigrants under "Hispanic-Americans--Social Conditions". Clicking on a link to "Hispanic-Americans--Social Conditions", the official subject heading, or doing a 'Subject begins with' search will yield the most relevant results. Ask at the Reference Desk if you're not sure what words or phrases to use.
Academic Search Premier (date coverage varies)
Full-text articles from over 3,600 journals in the social sciences, arts and humanities, and sciences.
America: History & Life (1964 to present)
Covers the world's scholarly literature on the history and culture of the United States and Canada.
Clase and Periodica (1975 to present)
Index to Latin American journals in the sciences and humanities.
Handbook of Latin American Studies (1935 to present)
Bibliography on Latin America covering social sciences and the humanities.
HAPI: Hispanic American Periodicals Index (1970 to present)
Covers analyses of current political, economic, and social issues to unique coverage of Latin American arts.
Historical Abstracts (1955 to present)
Scholarly literature about world history since 1450 (excluding the United States and Canada).
IBSS: International Bibliography of the Social Sciences (1951 to present)
Indexes about 3,000 journals and 7,000 books per year.
MLA International Bibliography (1926 to present)
Covers critical scholarship on literature, language, linguistics, and folklore.
Ethnic NewsWatch (1959 to present)
News and analysis from ethnic popular and scholarly publications.
GenderWatch (1970 to present)
Full text of publications that focus on the impact of gender across a broad spectrum of subject areas.
Latin American Newsletters (1967 to present)
Daily news from Latin America translated and with analysis.