Answered By: Mark Callan
Last Updated: Feb 15, 2019     Views: 865

The best way to find books in the Library is to use Library Search (our catalogue). Go to the university’s webpage and click on Library, then select Library Search from the various options that appear. (You can do this from any computer, anywhere in the world with internet access.)

If you know the book you are looking for, you can type in the author surname and one or two key words from the title. Alternatively, you could type in the ISBN if you know it.

If you want books on a particular subject, search by keyword (e.g. statistics or European history). If you get too many results, then  use additional or more specific keywords (statistics introduction or France Verdun). If you get too few results, then you need to use more general keywords (e.g. not poisson distribution but probability).

Each result will look something like this:

History of the conquest of Peru

William Prescott 1968

Available at Robinson Books Level 4 (985 PRE)


In this example, the book is Available (it can be borrowed) in the Philip Robinson Library (not the Walton or Law Libraries) among the books on Level 4.

(Other terms that you might see: CHECKED OUT instead of Available – the book has been borrowed; RESEARCH RESERVE instead of Philip Robinson – the item is not readily available but must be requested; QUARTO - the item is shelved in the separate Oversize section of the Library rather than on the usual shelves; ONLINE ACCESS – the item is an ebook.)

In brackets (985 PRE) is the shelf mark for the book. We put a shelf mark on each book to show where it belongs in the Library sequence, which runs in order from 000 to 999. Each set of shelves in the Library has a notice to show which part of the sequence you will find there. We use this sequence and these numbers to keep books on a similar subject together. (We also use a three letter abbreviation, usually taken from the author’s surname, to distinguish between books with the same subject number.)

So, now you know that one book on the history of Peru is at 985, you can be sure that you will find others on that subject at the same number in the same place on the shelves. This means that you can also look for books on Library Search by typing in the shelfmark of the subject you are looking for.


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