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How to use the Library Catalogue and Understanding Shelfmarks: Searching the Catalogue

A guide to using the library catalogue and finding books on the shelves using the Dewey Decimal Classification scheme.

Basic searches

Searching is as easy as Search - Refine - Locate...

Search:  enter your search terms or keywords.

Refine use the facets on the left side of your search results to narrow down your search.

Locate click a title link or Check Availability box to open an item detail page. Item pages give you more details than the search results page such as how many copies are available, when a copy is due back and where to find the item.

Basic Searching Tips:

  • If you're looking for a particular item, choose a few of the most specific words from the information you know about it, often a few words and the authors surname are enough. For example, to find the 12th edition of 'Armstong's handbook of human resource management practice' by Michael Armstrong try typing Armstrong handbook 12th or Twelfth.
  • Just like searching the internet, if you are looking for a particular phrase try putting speech marks around your term i.e. "principles of human resource management" - this will limit your search to items that contain these words in the exact order, rather than random keywords.
  • Add a dash (-) at the beginning of a word to exclude all results that have that word. This can be useful to filter out items you're not interested in. For example: potter -harry.
  • Words with a hyphen between them can also be found with a space instead of the hyphen, for example twenty-first and twenty first.
  • If you only have a shelfmark and the letters after it and are trying to locate the book they belong to, try entering the full shelfmark and letters followed by an * e.g. 658.408 cor*. This will return a results page with items at that shelfmark and with occurrences or the letters somewhere in the item information.

Finding Books