Use the library catalogue

To find quality resources that you can trust start with the resources in the library.

Our library catalogue is the best way to find out what resources we have. There are dedicated PCs in the Learning Centre and you can also access our catalogue online using the link in the navigation bar above.

To help you to find a library resource on the shelves you will need to know its classmark (classification number). If you search for a book or publication using the library’s catalogue you will find the classmark below the title of the resource, in the list of results.

A screen shot from the library catalogue showing the elements displayed for an item. These include the title, classmark, location in the library, the author and publisher.

How does knowing the classmark help?

Non-fiction Books and Publications

The non-fiction books and publications in the library each have a number and are arranged in number order on the shelves.

The numbers allocated to resources are based on the Dewey Decimal Classification System. The numbers act almost like the address of the resource on the shelves, helping you to find it. Each number relates to a specific subject or subtopic of a subject.

The ten broad subject groups are:

  • 000 – Computer Science, Information and General Works
  • 100 – Philosophy and Psychology
  • 200 – Religion
  • 300 – Social Sciences
  • 400 – Language
  • 500 – Science
  • 600 – Technology (Applied Sciences)
  • 700 – Arts and Recreation
  • 800 – Literature
  • 900 – History and Geography
What do the numbers mean?

The numbers before the decimal point:

The first digit in the three digit number indicates the broad subject, e.g. 600 is Technology (Applied Sciences).
The second number indicates the division of the main subject, e.g. 610 is Medicine and Health.
The third number indicates the section within the subject division, e.g. 612 is Human Physiology.

The numbers after the decimal point indicate the specific topic covered by the resource in relation to the sub-topic. For example:

612.1 is the Circulatory System
612.2 is the Respiratory System

Different books and publications about the same subject will have the same number.

But why are there letters after the number? This is to differentiate between books about the same subject but by different authors. The three letters are the first three letters of the author’s surname. For example, a book about the respiratory system written by Glen Bastian, will have the classification 612.2 BAS.

Resources that have the same number are organised on the shelves in alphabetical order by author’s surname.

Remember, you can also ask a member of the library services team for help.