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Social Sciences & Social Work: Books

Finding relevant books

The Library at Queen's holds a wide range of print books and ebooks relevant to your studies or research. All are found or accessed using the Library Catalogue.

The print collections for your subject are held in the McClay Library. Books available for long term loan are located on on floors 1 and 2 while the Short Loan Collection on the ground floor, holds books which are on module reading lists and in high demand. Please see further information about borrowing and returning books, loan types and quantities.

E-books can be accessed both on campus and from home. Please note the further information on this page about ebooks.

Finding books using the Library Catalogue


The Library at Queen's holds a wide range of print books and ebooks relevant to your studies or research. All are found or accessed using the Library Catalogue.

E-books can be accessed both on campus and from home. EBSCO ebooks and Proquest Ebook Central cover a full range of subjects so are good platforms to start with. Publisher platforms and further information on how to search and use these book databases is available on the ebook guide.

Using other library catalogues

Sometimes the Library at Queens may not have a particular book which you need, or not enough books on your topic of interest.

You can use Library Hub Discover (the combined catalogues of more than 170 major UK and Irish libraries) or WorldCat to find books on your topic of interest which are not available at Queen's.

If you identify a useful book, you may be able to request a temporary loan of the book from another library via the Inter-Library Loans service. Alternatively, if you would like to request that the book be purchased for the Library collection please Norma Menabney.

Need Help?


Tel: +44 (0)28 9097 6233

Problems accessing e-Resources

Using books effectively

Library books are available in two formats: traditional printed books or electronic books (also known as e-books). Irrespective of format, all books have a number of standard features. Understanding these features will help you find content relevant to your studies. Often you will not be expected to read a single book cover to cover but rather navigate several books and extract relevant information.

  • On the front cover or the title page of a book, you will find its title, information about author(s) or editor(s) and possibly edition and publisher details. These details are important to know when you want to refer to the book in your academic work.
  • Within the first few pages of the book, you will discover the contents page. This outlines the structure of the book, providing a chapter breakdown and page numbers to help you find relevant sections.
  • bibliography usually appears at the back of the book, or at the end of a book chapter. It is a list of all sources used by the author(s) in the writing of the book or the chapter. It provides evidence of primary and secondary sources used.
  • Publisher information is usually found in the initial pages of the book. It is here that you will identify who the publisher is, and the place and date of publication. This information may appear with a copyright symbol.
  • At the back of the book there may be an index. This assists you in finding the specific pages which contain information relating to your chosen topic.

Locating and borrowing print books

Each library book has a label on the spine called a shelfmark which is a combination of letters and numbers. It can be broken down into sections to make it easier to find the book you are looking for. For example:

Browsing the book shelves will help you locate other titles which you may find helpful.

Recommend a book

Reading list books

The library makes every effort to hold the key texts that are on reading lists for your modules.

If there are books on your module reading list which you cannot find in the Library Catalogue, please let the library know by filling in our book form or emailing your subject librarian.

Books not on reading lists 
The library also considers purchasing suggestions for books which are not on module reading lists. If you'd like to recommend a book for the library collection, please email your subject librarian.