You’ve been given your module handbooks for the semester, and you have been told that you can find many of your course books in the library. But how are you going to go about finding a few books among thousands across three floors? Well, if you read on we have composed a fool-proof guide to finding those all-important books and resources.

Step 1 – Find the item on Library SearchLibrary Search

First you’ll need to find the book you need on Library Search, the University’s library catalogue and online discovery tool.

Quick access to Library Search is available on library terminals, located on all the Library floors, or it can be located through the student webpages. Library Search is easy to use, all you need to do is enter the author’s last name and a few words from the title to find a specific book. Alternatively, if you are looking for a book in a specific subject area, just enter some key words to describe your subject.

Once you have found the book that you are looking for, click on the title to see if there is a copy available, and make a note of the classmark. The classmark is a series of numbers followed by three letters, which is the start of the author’s last name or the book’s title.

For example: Cottrell, S. (2013) The study skills handbook. Basingstoke: Palgrave. Has the classmark of 378.170281 COT

Need further help getting started with Library Search? We have a handy quick-start guide.

Step 2 – Knowing the loan period

As well as the classmark, you’ll need to know the loan period of the item. The information is held in the loan type column in Library Search.LibrarySearch

It may not seem important at first glance, but knowing the loan period of the books you are looking for, determines what shelves they will be on in Augustine House. The 24-hour and 7 day loan books will be found on the open shelves all down the room on floors one, two and three. Whereas the four week loan books are on the moving shelves at the back of floors one, two, and three.

Step 3 – Understanding the classmark

Now that you know the classmark and the loan period of the books you’re looking for, you are almost there. The final step is to use that classmark to find the items on the shelves.

Classmark are signposted at the end of each bookshelf and each book has a sticker with its classmark on the spine. The bookshelves will be in numerical order and in Augustine House, the sequence goes up from floors one to three. For example: floor 1 is 000-329, floor 2 is 330-599, and floor 3 is 600-999.

Once you have found the shelf, look at the numbers on the classmark and match them with those on the book. All the books with the same number are then filed alphabetically based on the last three letters on the classmark. Still confused? This visual guide might help.

Understanding a classmark


Well done, by following these steps you should have found your book! Now you can borrow the book and get studying.

Still need help?

However, if you still can’t find your book after following these steps just visit the Library Point on the Ground Floor of the Library for help. Alternatively, use the phone at the JustAsk pod and give them a call on 2508.