FAQ [Frequently Asked Questions]
- The book I want is not in the online catalogue
- The book I want is not where it’s supposed to be
- What have you got on such-and-such?
- All the terminals are in use.
- Can I bring my bag into the library?
- Can I borrow journals?
- How do I turn on the desk light?
- Is there a wireless network connection in the library?
- Newton says the book I need has just been returned, where will it be?
- Can I use an EMOS photocopying card in your machines?
- Why does the security alarm go off when I come into the library?
1. The book I want is not in the online catalogue
Try variant spellings of the author’s name (e.g.Davis, Davies) or of keywords (e.g. palaeolithic, paleolithic).
Try the card catalogue, if the book is likely to have been acquired before 1991. If the book is very new, then perhaps it is in the Library but not yet catalogued. Ask.
The online catalogue may show that the book is held by some other library within the University. Basic rule of thumb is that Faculty and Departmental libraries, and the UL, are open to members of the University, but a College library will be open only to members of the College.
If we don’t hold the book, feel free to make a purchase suggestion. This will need endorsement by a member of teaching staff.
As a last resort, we will see if we can obtain the book for you on inter-library loan. We charge £11.60 for books, £7.75 for photocopies delivered by post, and £7.50 for documents obtained electronically.
2The book I want is not where it’s supposed to be.
Maybe someone’s borrowed it. You can recall it online.
Or the book might be on Restricted Access for the term.
If it’s not traceable at all, perhaps somebody’s using it in the Library. Come back in a day or so.
If it’s still not traceable after a few days, we’ll add it to our “Missing” list. This doesn’t mean, though, that we’ll be buying a new copy straight away! We give missing books time to reappear. In general, we wait until the start of the Long Vacation before we order replacements, though in cases of very pressing demand we will act more rapidly.
3 What have you got on such-and-such?
You can do keyword searches in Newton by subject and/or title.
Additionally, you can search the card catalogue.
4. All the terminals are in use.
Terminals in the Library are for catalogue searches and that use takes precedence over email, surfing, solitaire, and other harmless modes of fun.
If you are using a terminal for any purpose, and you get the impression that another reader is forming the nucleus of a queue within fifteen feet or so, you should be prepared to hand over as soon as possible. If the terminal’s needed for a catalogue search, and you’re using it for something else, please log out and hand it over straight away.
If you need the terminal for a catalogue search, and someone else is using it for something else, let the other person know that you have priority. Use all means at your disposal without breaking the law.
5. Can I bring my bag into the library?
Yes, bags and coats may be brought in.
6. Can I borrow journals?
No, not unless you are a member of staff, and even then we ask you to return them as soon as possible. You may bring journals downstairs into the main reading room, but they are not to leave the library.
7. How do I turn on the desk light?
In the main reading room, the switches for the desk lights are on the underside of the table tops, near the corner which is towards both the middle of the room and the main exits.
9.The online catalogue says the book I need has just been returned. Where will it be?
The first place to look is the shelving trolley in between the central bookcases. See the north side (the street side) of the trolley for standard-size books with numeric and A-K classmarks; see the south side (the courtyard side) of the trolley for standard-size books with L-Z classmarks, and books designated as Large Volumes. Library staff re-shelve everything on the trolley at 9am and 2pm.
10.Can I use an EMOS photocopying card in your machines?
No, but ask a member of library staff about an account for our copy machines. Copies start at 6p for A4 black and white single-sided.
11.Why does the security alarm go off when I come into the library?
The book detection system in use at this library is the same as that used in certain other libraries in Cambridge. Consequently, it is possible that patrons entering this library will set the security alarm off if they are carrying items from these other libraries. Items borrowed from the following libraries are known to set off our security alarm:
Centre for Latin American Studies
Seeley History Library
Social and Political Sciences Library
There may be others. If the security alarm goes off, please do not be offended if you are asked to show staff the books you have in your possession.