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Film: Finding Books

Finding Books Using the Library Catalogue

Understanding shelf-marks

Each book has a shelf-mark, which is a combination of letters and numbers. Break this down into sections to make it easier to find the book you are looking for.


Just ask at one of the Enquiry Desks if you can't find what you are looking for - we are here to help.

Recommend a book

Photo by Ed Robertson on Unsplash

If the library doesn't hold a book or e-book, which you would like to read - or there are not enough copies - please let your subject librarian know. 

Fill in the online book suggestion form or email Diarmuid Kennedy (email:

Your subject librarian will consider every book / e-book purchase suggestion and, if appropriate, the book will be ordered for the library. We will keep you informed about the outcome of your book suggestion.

Tips for using the catalogue

  • Be aware that the library catalogue will often give only very basic information about a book- it won't usually include a detailed contents list.
  • Some newer books will have a Review & More link on the catalogue - this will give you some additional information.
  • The catalogue does not search the contents of e-books - it only searches the information on the catalogue record.  You should link through to the full-text of e-books to see exactly what they contain.
  • Often there is no substitute for going to the relevant shelves in the library and physically browsing the books to check out the index and contents pages.