Answered By: Rachel Welch
Last Updated: Dec 17, 2018     Views: 1182

First, you need to check the location of the item you’re looking for. It will tell you this in the library catalogue. You can also find a guide to where books and other items are located here:

Once you’ve found the right location, you need to look for the item by using its classmark. You will see this in the library catalogue. All books in the library have a classmark sticker on their spine or on the front cover. This tells you the exactly where the book can be found.  Most items are shelved using the Library of Congress classification system.  The Library of Congress system is alpha numeric.  This means that items are sorted firstly alphabetically and secondly numerically, as shown here:


Some items may have a lowercase prefix before their classmark.  These items will be shelved separately. You can read about what it means when a classmark starts with a lowercase ‘q’ here:

Books that are part of the High Demand Collection will have the location “BJL Reading Room HDC”. Please note that, in these cases, HDC is not part of the classmark. 

Some items are shelved using the Dewey Decimal System.  The Dewey Decimal System sorts books using a number followed by the initials of the author.  An example of a Dewey classmark would be: 372.1384 JOY. Most of these items can be found on the mezzanine in the reading room.  Some CDs on the 6th floor and Education Resources on the 5th floor also use this system 

If you have any problems finding a book, please ask a member of staff for help.  

Once you’ve found your book, you will need to check it out onto your account before you can take it out of the library. If you’re not sure how to do that, take a look here:

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