Your results from a  Library Search contain an item's status (available or not), Library location, call number eg. QA276.12.F75 1997, and format (physical or electronic).

Library search result showing item location info
Library Search result showing the location and call number of the item.

How to find an item on the shelf

  1. Ensure the item is Available. Electronic versions can be accessed online. Request the item if it is already on loan. 
  2. The Location indicates Library building and collection in which the item is held.
Collection Description
High-Use Items are accessible but may only be borrowed for short periods.
General, journal, and multimedia Items are accessible and normal borrowing rules apply.
Reference Items can be used in the Library but cannot be borrowed.
Requested items shelf Items held for the person that requested them.

In the example above, the item is in the Gatton (J. K. Murray) Library and it is available in the General area. 

  1. Record the call number of the item. Items are ordered alphabetically and numerically by call number e.g. Q > QA > QB, and QA275 > QA276 > QA277. The last part of a call number is the publishing year.
  2. At the Library, look for signs for the collection you need. In this example, the item is in the General Collection of the Gatton Library. Clients with disabilities may request staff assistance
  3. Once in the correct area, look for the signs on the bookshelves.
Library shelves with signage
Library shelves with call number signage

All items should have a visible call number attached. Use the order of the call numbers to work your way to the actual item:

Book on shelf showing call number
Book on the shelf, correctly placed by call number

Finding related items

The call number system groups items by subject, so you can usually find interesting items around the one you initially searched for. Learn more about how we help you to find related items.

Items not on the shelf

In general, items not on the shelves are on loan. If Library Search indicates that the item is Available and you are unable to find it on the shelves: 

  1. Check that you have the correct location and call number.
  2. Check the sorting shelves which are usually on the same floor as the books.
  3. Ask Library staff for help.

Request the item if it is on loan.