How to find a book on the shelf

Before you begin make sure you have the following information from the Find in Library tab in OneSearch:

This tells you:

  • The libraries in which the book is located: in this case Queen Elizabeth II and Ferriss Hodgett
  • The location of the book: in this case STACKS.
    • "Available at..." means the book is on the shelf in the library
    • "Checked out from..." means that someone has borrowed the book. To find out when it's due back, look for the "Status" section of the Find in Library tab.
    • NOTE that if there is an electronic copy, then the brief record won't say that the print copy is checked out. You will have to click Find in Library to see the Availability. If the print copy is checked out, it will say "Availability: (1 copy, 0 available)"
    • These are the most common messages and locations, but there are others. For help, ask us.
  • The call number of the book: in this case PS 8501 T974 Z515 1990

Step 1: On which floor is the book located?

The bookstacks in the Queen Elizabeth II are on the 4th and 5th floors.
Call number ranges A to HZ are found on the 5th floor.
Call number ranges J to Z are found on the 4th floor.

Since you are looking for a call number that begins with PS, you would go to the 4th floor.

NOTE: Locations of books vary from library to library. If you were looking for a book with the call number PS 8501 T974 Z515 1990 at the Grenfell Campus Library, you would head to Level 3. The Health Sciences and Marine Institute Libraries are housed on a single floor.

Step 2: On which shelf is the book located?

Once you are on the right floor, find the area that has the beginning letters of your call number. All of the letters in a call number run from A to Z (e.g., PS will come before PT and after PR). The numbers go from lowest to highest (e.g., you will find PS 8501 on the shelf after PS 8500 and before PS 8502).

With our example, find the area where PS call numbers are kept. When you have found this area, find PS 8501 within the PS section, and so on until you find the book on the shelf.

There are signs to help you narrow down which area of the floor your call number will be found. The larger signs indicate the general area in which your call number is located. The ends of each bookstack have signs indicating what call number ranges are located in those stacks, e.g. PR 7201 A7 - PS 116 C85 1999 tells you that a call number of PS 1 A77... would be found in that range.

For help, ask us.