Finding books on the Library shelves
Last Updated: Aug 10, 2023 Views: 645

Library Collection Rooms and shelves are currently closed. If you would like to borrow a book from your campus Library, follow the instructions for Borrowing and Requesting Items

To find a book in the Library:

  1. Search Page 1+ for books by keyword, title or author.
  2. Enter your search terms and click Search. By default, Page 1+ will filter your search to show only results that are Available in the Library Collection.
    • When viewing your search results, use the limiters in the left side bar to refine your search. Under Availability, select Print/Physical item.
    • You can search for books at a specific campus under Campus.
    • Click on a title to open the complete record. Look at the following information in the record: 
      1. The title and the author
      2. The campus library that has your item.
      3. The call number (for physical items such as books)
      4. The type of material (book, ebook, online video, DVD, etc)
      5. The location (standard shelf location or in library use such as reserves or reference). It will also note if the item is in a special area of the library (levelled readers or oversized). Items on reserve or in reference at other campuses cannot be Intercampus loaned.
      6. Whether the item is available. (The item may be borrowed if it has a due date showing under Location.)
      7. If the title is listed as “unavailable” the due date will be shown. You may request the item and will be contacted when the item becomes available.
  3. For example:
    • Title: Romeo and Juliet.
    • Author: Collins, Anne.
    • Call Number: PE1126.A4 C6444 2008 
    • Publishing Date 2008
    • Holdings 1 copy available at Algonquin – Woodroffe in Levelled Reader.
  4. Record the name of the book and the Call Number shown. This number will be displayed on the spine of your book. For example, the call number for the item above was PE1126.A4 C6444 2008
  5. Use the Call Number to locate the book on the shelves.

To find a book using the call number (e.g. PE1126.A4 C6444 2008): 
Use each section of the call number, starting from left, to find the right area of the shelf.

  1. PE- Find the area of library shelves with call numbers that match the first letter(s) of the call number, e.g. ‘P’. The letters will appear in alphabetical order.
  2. 1126- Read this as one whole number. E.g. PE1126 appears after PE458.
  3. A4- Read the third line alphabetically first, then read the number as though it was a decimal, e.g. .G4 would appear before .G47
  4. C6444- Read the fourth line alphabetically first, then read the number as though it was a decimal, e.g. C6444 would appear after C644
  5. 2008 – Read the edition in chronological order. E.g. ‘2000’ appears before ‘2004’

If you have trouble finding a book, ask for help at the Library Research Desk (Ottawa campus) or Front Desk (Perth and Pembroke).

Watch the video below  from Douglas College, or read our explanation below to learn how to find books using their call numbers.

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