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How to get the books & articles you need!: Library Jargon - What does that mean?

This guide explains how to find the books and articles you need for your studies and what to do if the Library doesn't have them.

A handy guide to library language

This guide will help you to understand the various terms, vocabulary and jargon that you may encounter whilst using library services and resources.

Book Bin

In termtime the Robinson Library is open 24/7. However in the holidays when we are closed, you can return books via the book bin which is to the left of the entrance.

Books returned to the book bin will be checked in the following working day.

Hold Request

If a book that you want is out on loan, you can request it yourself, directly from Library Search.

You will be notified by email when the item is available to borrow & you can collect it from the Holds Collection shelf in the Student Texts Collection in the Robinson Library.

For Walton and Law Library books, ask in those libraries.

Library Help

Library Help is the name of our online enquiry service.  Search in our Knowledge Base to see whether your question has already been answered or browse questions and answers using the Popular Topics cloud.   If you still can't find what you need then please feel free to email, tweet, text, call or chat at

Quarto / Oversize

 The Quarto or Oversize books are basically items which are too large to fit on the ordinary shelves and can be found in a separate shelving section in the library.  Their location on Level 3 and 4 is on the floor plans.

Check In / Check Out

The self service machines can be used to borrow, and in some cases return, your library books.  You can find them in all three of Newcastle University Libraries.  If you'd like to borrow a book press 'Check-Out' and if you'd like to return a book, press 'Check-In'.

Information Point

The Information Point on Level 4 is staffed through the week should you need any help with locating items, using e-resources... basically we'll try to find the answers to all your questions!

Library Search

Library Search is our library catalogue and can be used whether you're on-campus, off-campus or on the go!

You can use Library Search without logging in. If you do log in you can access your library account to renew books and make hold requests.

Research Reserve

Any items on Library Search that have a location of the Research Reserve need to be requested before you can borrow them.  Items are normally available within 24 hours.  Books, journals & theses can be requested through Library Search whilst staff & students can request a scanned copy of a journal article through our Desktop Delivery Service and it will be emailed out to you directly.

Student Texts Collection

The Student Texts Collection (or STC) is a collection of items defined as essential course reading.  In the Robinson Library, this is located on Level 2.

They can only be borrowed for a maximum of 4 hours & make sure you check your receipt for the due date and time as there is an immediate overdue charge of £1.00 plus £1.00 per hour for these items.

Compact Shelving

You'll find Compact Shelving on Level 1 of the Robinson Library.  Don't worry - it is easy to use. Each bay is labelled to show what is down that aisle so you just need to rotate the handle(s) of the shelves so you can access what you need.  Before you start moving the shelves just check there is nobody in the open aisle.  We don't want any accidents!


Liasion Librarian

Each subject area has named members of Library staff responsible for helping students and staff, the Liasion Librarians & their assistants are based up on Levels 3 & 4 of the Robinson Library.  The Medical Liaison team are based in the Walton Library.

You can contact your Liaison Librarian or a Liaison Assistant if you need help in finding or accessing resources for your course of study.


Media Room

Located on Level 4 of the Robinson Library, the Media Room houses a varied collection of CDs, DVDs, microform & vinyl.

Reshelving Bays

If you're looking for a book that says 'In Library' on Library Search but it is not on the shelf then it is worth also checking the reshelving bay.  This is where books go first when they've just been returned or if someone has been using them in the library.

There are reshelving bays on Levels 3 & 4 in the Robinson Library located opposite the main shelves

Special Collections

Special Collections is on Level 1 of the Robinson Library & has collections of material which range in scope from rare books and archives to woodblocks and illustrations. Their collections range in date from the mid 15th century to the 21st century, although the majority date from the 18th to 20th century.