How can I find books?

Plymouth Marjon Library has over 126,000 books …how do you know where to find the ones you need for your course?

First of all, visit our catalogue webpage or find a Catalogue Computer on every floor of Marjon Library.

You can use the Catalogue just like a search engine. Type a few keywords into the search box to get started. For a more targeted search, change the fields menu to search for just the title, or just the author.

Now for a bit of context. Let’s say we wanted to search for books on Teaching Music. Type this into the search box and presto! This has given lots of results. To find out more about the books and where to locate them, click the blue title link of the book:


The pop out screen will tell you everything you need to find the book on the shelves:

The next thing to do is take a note of the Shelf Number as this will tell you where the book is stored. At Marjon Library, we use the Dewey Decimal System, which groups books of a similar subject into the same or similar Shelf Number. This means that you’ll often find other useful books in same section.

Once you have the book’s Shelf Number, you can start to look on the bookshelves on the 1st and 2nd Floors of Marjon Library. All of our books have a label on their spines; it’s just a matter of matching this with your Shelf-Number.

We always read the Shelf Number from left to right. So, if we were to find say, 372.87/JON, we would first look along the shelves for the books numbered 372. Within the 372 section, we would follow the shelves along until we find the books labelled 372.87. Finally, we narrow our search in the 372.87 section alphabetically, by locating the books 372.87/JON.

The books are stored on the shelves like sentences on a page – once you get to the end of the shelf-unit, continue looking on the shelf beneath it. If you reach the last book on the lowest shelf, continue to highest neighbouring shelf to the right:

Our books are stored across two floors. Use the table below to help you find your books:


Collection Location in Library Label
Main Library Books with shelf number 000-372 are on the 1st Floor.
Books with the Shelf Number 373-999 are on the 2nd Floor.
White label only
Teaching Practice 1st Floor, in the Teaching Practice area Red dot
Teaching Practice Oversize 1st Floor, in the Teaching Practice area Red dot and gold star
Oversize Found in the Oversize section, 2nd Floor of the Library Gold star

If you can’t find a book on the shelves, please ask at the Library Counter. A member of staff will be happy to help you.