You can search your local library's catalog to find out what books are available in your town or school; you can search Amazon or other resources to find out what books are for sale. But if you want to see what books *might* be out there for your use, Worldcat.Org may be the best place to start.
Worldcat.org is a freely available database of the library catalog entries in tens of thousands of libraries. Results are grouped together so different editions of the same book are together, and for many large libraries, the libraries who have a copy of the book are tagged.
In the Worldcat Results list, items that are held at more libraries are displayed first. Click on the title of the item to see the item record. Item records include:
Book Publication information
Author link (Click to find all items by that author)
Description, if any
Clickable Subject Headings
In this example, based on the search "teaching writing in elementary schools", you could click on
English language Composition and exercises Study and teaching (Elementary)'
to find other items that are all described under that subject heading, then apply limiters to get down to a reasonable number.
Who has the book?
Your home library (public or school) can probably get these books for you via Interlibrary Loan. However, if you'd rather visit a library to view the book, you can fill in your location (zip code or place name) in the Location area, and Worldcat will tell you the nearest libraries that have told Worldcat they have the book.
Obviously, juvenile fiction and popular literature are more likely to show up in public libraries, and other kinds of titles in academic libraries. Before you make a trip to the library, though, click on the link marked "Book" to see if the book is listed as available in the library's catalog, and Library Policies to see what the library borrowing policies are.
Search the contents of a vast array of books. Those that are covered by copyright (generally published in the last 70 years) are usually not fully available online, but you can check to see if Drew owns them, or you can request the works through Interlibrary Loan.
A digital library of public domain and in copyright digitized works. HathiTrust is a partnership of major research institutions and libraries working to preserve and make accessible the cultural record.