Your results in Library Search will advise the availability of a resource, which may be in physical form, online form, or both:

  • Available physical resources are indicated as Available at followed by the library location, collection, and call number
  • Available online resources are indicated as Available online
  • Resources not currently available are indicated by Check availability

You can check the availability and see more detailed access information after opening the record, with options for placing requests and loan periods shown once you have logged in.

Library search result showing item location information.
An example Library Search result for an available physical item, showing the library, collection, and call number.

How to find an item on the shelf

  1. Check Library Search to ensure the item is in physical form, and indicated as Available
  2. The location information will include the library and the collection.
CollectionsDetails (see our borrowing rules for more information)
High UseItems may only be borrowed for 24 hours and cannot be renewed
ReferenceItems cannot be borrowed and must be used within the Library
Others, such as General or JournalLoan periods may vary - once logged in, the Get It display in a resource will show the policy which applies
  1. Before heading to the Library, check in the record's Get It section to make sure it is available at that location. The View location button leads to helpful information such as how to find each Library, floor plans showing the location of each collection, and opening hours
    • Note that some locations are not directly physically accessible, such as our Warehouse, or resources are only accessible by prior arrangement, such as those in our Fryer Library. In these cases you will need to place a request for access
  2. 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. Learn more about Library of Congress Call Numbers.
  3. After arriving at the Library, look for signs for the location you need. Clients with disabilities may request staff assistance.
  4. Once in the correct area of the Library, look for the signs on the bookshelves.
  5. Use the order of the call number stickers placed on the spines, to navigate to the item.
Library shelves, call number signs BC 199-BF 173
Bookshelves with call number signage.
Books on the shelf with visible and ordered call numbers.
Book on the shelf, in call number order.

Items not on the shelf

If you can't find the item: 

  1. Check that you have the correct Library location and call number
  2. Check that the particular item copy is not on loan, which is shown in Library Search by the Get It section Availability column (you may be able to submit a request after logging in)
  3. Check the floor plans to make sure you're on the right floor and in the right area
  4. Check on the floor for sorting shelves, where resources are organised by staff prior to reshelving
  5. Ask staff for assistance.

Note that in some cases the item may be in use within the Library by another client, but not yet borrowed. Please make sure to loan items where possible, which updates Library Search immediately to show accurate availability information.

Explore related items

The Library of Congress call number system groups items by subject, so you can usually find interesting items shelved around the one you initially searched for. You may like to explore additional ways we help you to find related items in Library Search.