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Finding items on the shelf

The shelf numbers and where you can find them

Items in the Library are organised by number (which correlates to the subject area), followed by the first three letters of the author’s name. For example, John Curtin: A Life by David Day has the shelf number 994.04092 DAY. Books in this range are in the history, geography and biography category which, in the TL Robertson Library, is located on level six.

The catalogue will always display the level on which the item is located.

Here’s where you can find the ten broad categories in the TL Robertson Library:

Shelf Numbers
Level 4
000 Computer science, information and general works
100 Philosophy and psychology
200 Religion
300 Social sciences
Level 5
350 Social sciences (cont)
400 Language
500 Science (including mathematics)
Level 6
600 Technology
700 Arts and recreation
800 Literature
900 History, geography and biography

What do the letters before the shelf number mean?

Some shelf numbers have a letter preceding the number:

  • B and Q: booklets and quartos (large books), which are located at the end of the aisles.
  • P: a periodical (journal or magazine).
  • F: a folio.

If an item is showing as available, but it’s not on the shelf

If the catalogue displays “Check shelf” next to your item, it should be available on the shelf. If you still can’t find it:

  • check the sorting shelves for recently returned items,
  • call extension 4183 on any internal telephone to ask for help in Robertson Library, or
  • ask for help with staff on level 2.

It is possible that somebody else is using the item in the library, so you may need to wait a while and then re-check the shelves. If you still can’t find the item, lodge a search request form with staff on level 2. We will carry out daily searches for the item for the next five days.

If we locate it, you’ll be notified by email or phone and the item will be placed on hold for you. If we are unable to locate it, the item will be marked as ‘missing’ and where possible we will request another Curtin copy for you.

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