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Newcastle University

University Library

Subject support guide

Your subject-specific guide to using library resources.

Library Search

Newcastle Libraries - Self Guided Tours

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Exploring the shelves
 

Our books are organised using the Dewey Decimal system, which assigns a number to each subject area; however, the longer a number is, the more specific that subject will be. For example, 612 is Physiology; 612.8 is Neurophysiology; 612.82 is Brain Physiology. You do not need to memorise these things, but it helps if you have a general understanding of how the system works. You will also find letters at the end of each shelfmark. Most often, they are the first three letters of the author's surname, but they can also be the first three letters of the book title.

The books in the Walton Library span Dewey Decimal numbers 0 to 999, which cover a wide variety of medical sciences subjects, including medical law, biology, biochemistry, anatomy, psychiatry, neurology, dentistry, ophthalmology, dietetics, sports and exercise science and many others. Keep in mind that Psychology books are at the Philip Robinson Library, on Level 3.

If you've found a book on Library Search, click on the title and the location details (Library, Collection, Shelf mark) will be displayed along with information that tells you if the book is in stock, or on loan, or available electronically. If the book you want is in stock, all you need to do is make a note of the shelf mark and head straight for the designated shelf (to direct you, Dewey Decimal numbers are located at the end of each library shelf and each book will have its number printed on the spine). 

Top tip: Remember to make a note of the full shelfmark. Write it down, or take a photo of the numbers and letters, as I can guarantee that you'll forget it the moment you’re in the shelves!  

Now it’s your turn. Can you find "The Small Book of Library Tips"? You do not need to use Library Search on this occasion because we are giving you the shelfmark: 371.103 LIB. This is a book we sneakily planted among the real, long loan books at the Walton Library. Inside this book full of blank pages, there is a question, which you can answer in the Walton Tour - Finding a Book Task below. Good luck!

Next stop: Walton 9 is located opposite the Library Help Desk.

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