University libraries are more than just shelves of dusty old books. Nowadays most libraries also have a range of different services available to students. These might include:
- Study areas
- Academic journals
- Printing and photocopying facilities
- Magazines and newspapers
- Areas for study groups
- Computers for writing or researching assignments
To find out what’s available in your university library, ask any member of staff in the library. Most libraries offer tours to students.
In addition to what’s available in the building itself, a lot of universities are making more and more of their content available online for students. This means you can access some articles, journals, or search the library catalogue, all from the comfort of your home. Check your universities website for more information on what’s available online.
Only some of the books in the library are allowed to be checked out and brought home. Each library has their own system for marking which books can and cannot be taken out, so ask the library staff. If you can’t take a particular book from the library, try photocopying the relevant pages, but make sure you make note of the details of the book you are photocopying so you can easily reference them later if needed.
How to Find Books
Libraries use a system called the Dewey Decimal Code. This means that books are always shelved according to topic, and each topic is assigned a numerical code. So, for example, if you are looking for a book about Ancient Egypt, these books will always be stacked with a code that starts with 932. Or if you were looking for a book about accounting, it will start with the code 657. To learn more about the Dewey Decimal System, you can click on the link below.
Video: Introduction to the Dewey Decimal System – Bentley Media Centre