Books and e-books

Finding books and e-books

Watch our video on finding books and e-books:

Whenever you want to look for something in the Library, use Library search. Library search contains details of all materials held by the Library, both in print and online, plus DVDs, CDs and other media. The Classic catalogue provides an alternative way to search for Library resources.

Once you have found a relevant title in Library search, you may want to look at the full catalogue record for that book in order to be able to find it in the Library. The catalogue record provides information about the author, title, publication details and physical description of the book, as well as information about the number of copies held by the Library, whether they are currently available and where they are shelved. To find a book, you need to make a note of the classmark, availability and shelved at information.

See also: borrowing books Colchester Campus, Southend & East 15 and renewing books

What is a classmark?

The classmark is a code made up of letters and numbers which reflects the subject of the book. Books are shelved in the Library in classmark order and each book has a classmark label on the spine. Several books can share the same classmark. To see which classmarks are shelved on which floors, look at the Classification scheme summary.

Is it available for me to borrow?

The availability of a book will usually be "IN LIBRARY". When a book is out on loan, the catalogue record will display the date it is due back, e.g. "DUE 20-06-17". Books which are out on loan can be requested through the catalogue by clicking request a hold. Availability may also show as "RESERVED". This means that the book has been requested by another user and is waiting for them to collect at the Service Desk. It is possible to limit your search to books currently available in the Library using the facets on the left side in Library search.

Where is it shelved?

The shelved at information tells you where a book can be found and how long it can be borrowed for. Most books are available from the main shelves of the Library and can be borrowed for 12 weeks. Some books may only be borrowed for seven days and are kept in the Student Collection on the First Floor of the Library. Some can only be borrowed for four hours and are kept in the Short Loan collection on the Ground Floor. Other books are shelved in the Library stores or as part of a special collection and must be requested in advance using the online store requests form. More information is available from the Shelved at locations page.

What are e-books?

The catalogue also contains details of e-books which have the classmark "Online book" and the tag "[electronic resource]". To read an e-book, click on the link "view the full text on...". You will then need to put in your University username and password to get through to the book itself.  It is possible to limit your search to e-books using the Facets on the left side in Library search.

What if the Library doesn't have the book I am looking for?

If you are searching for a particular book and you cannot find it in Library search, there are a number of ways you can get hold of it:

1. Use the book suggestions form to suggest that the Library purchases the book
2. Submit an inter library loan request for the book online
3. Visit another library which has the book

How do I search for books more generally?

You may want to try searching the catalogues of other libraries, such as COPAC, the online catalogue of major research libraries in the UK which includes the British Library catalogue, or searching online booksellers, such as Amazon, or using a Library database in your subject area.


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