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Library Guides

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General Library Guide

How to use your university library service

Using LibrarySearch to find books

  • Type in key words, a name of an author or title of a book.
  • The catalogue will create a list of results connected to your search.
  • Scroll and click on a title to check its availability.
  • If there are available copies take note of the shelfmark, this is the collection of numbers and letters.
  • The shelfmark is a book's postcode it will tell you where the book lives in the library.

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The Dewey Decimal System

The Dewey Decimal System is used by all of the University of Greenwich Libraries. This system dictates how we order our book stock.

The numbers correspond to subject areas. There are ten main subject groups. 

  • 000 - General Works, Computer Science & Information
  • 100 - Philosophy & Psychology
  • 200 - Religion
  • 300 - Social Sciences
  • 400 - Language
  • 500 - Pure Science
  • 600 - Technology
  • 700 - Arts & Recreation
  • 800 - Literature
  • 900 - History & Geography

Each group is then divided and subdivided  into more specific subject areas.

  • 310 - Statistics
  • 320 - Political Science
  • 330 - Economics
  • 340 - Law
  • 350 - Public Administration & Military Science
  • 360 - Social Problems & Social Services
  • 370 - Education
  • 380 - Commerce, Communications & Transportation
  • 390 - Customs, Etiquette & Folklore

Books are arranged in numerical order and by decimal, read the numbers line by line so 658.112 would come before 658.2.

The letters at the end of the shelfmark are taken from the first three letters of the author's name. These letters are important when it comes to finding a particular book as you may have multiple  items with the same shelfmark number. 

Finding your books on the shelf

Image showing a bookcase with shelfmarks

  • Once you have your shelfmark and have found which floor/zone your book is located it is time to find it on the shelf. 
  • All of the shelf ends are clearly labelled.
  • The numbers on the signs state where the book stock begins on that particular bay and where it finishes. So if you are looking for a shelfmark beginning with 800 you know it would be on this bay of shelving. 

Can't find your book?

There are a number of ways to access resources.

  • If the item you are looking for is stocked at another campus library please reserve the item to collect from your chosen campus. 
  • If there are no available copies due to them being out on loan, please reserve the item so that as soon as the current user returns the book you will be able to collect it from your chosen campus. 
  • To reserve a copy of your chosen book please follow the link via the LibrarySearch.
  • You may want to check if there is an available ebook copy. 
  • If the library does not stock the item you need, you may order it through the Document Delivery service.