To find an item on the shelf you need to know it's location and call number. The location tells you the branch library and the collection where the item is held. The call number is its location on the shelf and appears on spine of the book.
You can find the location and the call number in the library catalogue record of the item you are looking for.
In the example above, the item is in the Kelvin Grove Library and, since there is no collection nominated, it is in the General collection. Other collections include the Periodical collection, the Curriculum collection or the Reference collection. Find out more.
How are items arranged on the shelves?
Within the collection, the item is shelved numerically and/or alphabetically by the call number. Copy down all parts of the call number, making note of the decimal point and any letters, spaces and slashes(/) that separate each part of the call number.
Parts of a call number
Example: 005.133 C++ 137 /2
This is the subject number. In this case, it is the subject number for programming languages.
Call numbers are decimal numbers so 005.133 will be shelved between 005.12 and 005.134
|C++||Some, but not all call numbers, have an alphabetic sequence so that items on the same subtopic are shelved together. In this case, this is the alphabetic sequence given to C++ programming language.|
A running number is assigned to each item at the same subject number. This book is the one hundred and thirty seventh title at the number 005.133
In the Law Library, this running number is replaced with 4 letters eg the first 4 letters of the author's name.
Edition statement. If an item is not a first edition, an edition statement is added.
Read more about understanding call numbers.
What do I do if the item isn't on the shelf?
- Check the reshelving trolleys and tables near the stacks and the photocopiers.
- Look around the study tables and carrels where another user may have left it.
- Double check the catalogue - did you jot the call number down correctly? Is it on loan? On Course Reserve or on Display?
- If you have looked for it several times on different days, ask the Librarian on the Loans Desk for help or to start a "Missing Item" search for you