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Find items on our shelves

If you have trouble locating resources on the shelves, here are some tips to make the process easier:

  • make sure the item is Available
  • write down the entire Shelf number, including the letters
  • from the catalogue, take note of the Collection (click on the title to find which collection the item is in)
  • click on the Show on Map feature for an indication of where you will find the item in the Library (Toowoomba Main Collection only)
  • labels at the end of each row of shelving tell you the Collection and the shelf number range in that row
  • the collection runs left to right
  • the shelves are arranged in groups of bays (usually 4-8 bays per group)
  • in each bay there are 6 shelves. The items are placed in order from the top shelf to the bottom shelf in each bay
  • if the numbers on the bottom shelf aren’t quite up to the number you are looking for, go to the top shelf in the next bay.

Dewey Decimal System

The Library uses the Dewey Decimal system to classify the resources. The following is a breakdown of the top level subject areas.

  • 000 Computer Science, Information & General Works
  • 100 Philosophy & Psychology
  • 200 Religion
  • 300 Social Sciences
  • 400 Language
  • 500 Science
  • 600 Technology
  • 700 Arts & Recreation
  • 800 Literature
  • 900 History & Geography

For a more detailed outline of Dewey numbers and subject areas refer to the detailed Dewey Classification list.

Reading a shelf number

Reading a shelf number is as simple as reading from left to right. For example, the book you are trying to find has the shelf number 335.48 Def

  1. Start with the first number on the far left
  2. Find the row with 300s
  3. Once you have found this number on the shelves move to the second number
  4. Go down the row until you find 330s, and then to 335
  5. Then follow each decimal place until you find the number
  6. Find the books at 335.4, and then 335.48
  7. The same process is then done with any letters used at the end of the call number
  8. Find the books with letters starting with D, then DE, then DEF
  9. The number will appear on the spine or front of the book as:
    335
    .45
    Def