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Getting Started

Using Library Search

You can search directly from the search box on the front of the Library website.Library search box

  • Enter some keywords or concepts related to your topic, as you would in a Google search. For example: electricity renewable energy Nigeria
  • Think of synonyms and alternatives. For example: offshore installation or offshore platform
  • Use quotation marks to search for common terms or phrases. For example: "international energy", then you will avoid results where the words are not together.
  • Add an asterisk * at the end of a word to search for different variations of the word. For example: disclos* will give you hits for disclose, discloses, disclosure, disclosures, disclosing
  • Go to 'View Online' to read full text online items
  • 'Available in the Library' normally means the book is only available as a print copy
  • Pin items to save to my favourites.  If you sign-in, pins will be saved.

Placing a Hold Request

If the item you want is already out on loan, or only available at one of our libraries which you normally don't visit, you can place a reservation (also known as a hold or request) on it. When it is available we will contact you by email, and keep it aside for you at the pickup location of your choice for 5 days. You should: 

  • do this through Library Search (either via one of the dedicated Search PCs located in our libraries or via this website)
  • on the menu bar at the top of the screen click Sign in and use your University of Dundee username and password or, if you are another category of member, the username and password associated with your Library account 
  • search for the item you want to reserve and click on Request under 'Get It' Section 

  • select the Pickup Location most convenient for you (note that the Reading Room options only apply to items which cannot be removed from the library) 
  • if you wish, select a date no less than 7 days in the future from the Not Needed After option to indicate when the item will no longer be of use to you
  • if necessary, add a Comment about the reservation 
  • click on the green Request button
  • a message on screen will confirm that the request has been placed (please note that, somewhat confusingly, "Place in queue is 0" means that you are first in the queue while "Place in queue is 1" means that you are second in the queue!

If you are not able to place a reservation, this may be because:

  • your membership category determines how many reservations you can place at one time
  • reservations may not be permitted on some restricted loan items.

If you decide that you no longer require the item please cancel your reservation by signing in to My Library Account, selecting Requests and clicking on Cancel. The item will then be available for others to borrow or consult.

What is a Classmark? Where is the item? and How long can I have it?

What is a classmark? As you walk round a Library you will notice that books on the same subject are all in roughly the same area of the Library. This is because every book carries a label on the spine indicating where on the shelves it will be filed. The label usually contains a three-figure number followed by a decimal point, with numbers and letters following this decimal point.  These numbers aren't random - they correspond with specific subjects. The Library uses a list of numbers to create a classmark. 

When you find the item via Library Search, availability is shown, as is the location and the loan period.   

Book record in catalogue

Main Library - Brief Guide subject classmarks 000-499

Brief guide to subject classmarks 000-499

Main Library - Brief Guide subject classmarks 500-999

Brief guide to subject classmarks 500-999