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Information for new students: Finding stuff

Key information and links for new students

Finding books

Your reading lists are available online via the Blackboard course for your module. Your lists will:

  • list all recommended print and online resources
  • show you if printed copies are available to borrow
  • include links to articles, chapters, websites and videos
  • give access to scanned extracts of key readings

Watch this short video to find out more about using your online reading list.

Search the Library catalogue Enterprise to find print and e-books held by the Library. It will show you where the books are located and whether there are any copies available to borrow.

Search the Enterprise catalogue now by typing your search into the box below

Search tips

Looking for a specific book?

  • Search for the first author's surname and one or two words from the title.
  • There's no need to type in the whole reference - you're more likely to make a mistake and it might not match exactly what's on the catalogue.

For example, search for the highlighted words to find this book:

Lanham-New, S.A., Macdonald, I.A. & Roche, H.M. (eds) (2011) Nutrition and metabolism. 2nd ed. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.

Looking for books on a topic?

  • Just type in one or two words that describe your topic.
  • If you don't find anything, try simplifying your search by removing some words or using more general words.

For example, search for the highlighted words in this essay title:

What effect has climate change had on food security in Africa?

Watch our short video on searching the catalogue, finding a book and borrowing it

shelf of books

  1. Write down the Call Number and floor location (or take a pic of the catalogue screen).
  2. Find your way to the correct floor and check the floor plan. Most books are in the blue 'Books' section - just make your way to the section containing your number. But if your Call Number has 'Large' at the start you need to go to the pink 'Large Books' section containing your number instead.
  3. Use the signs on the end of the shelves to find your way to the correct section.
  4. When you are in the correct section look at the labels on the books until you find your number.
  5. Once you've found the correct number use the letters at the end of the Call Number to find the specific book - they are arranged alphabetically by these letters.

If you can't find your book, please ask at the Information Desk. We're here to help!

We have purchased thousands of e-books which you can read on- or off-campus. 

So when all the print copies of the book you wanted are out on loan... or you've reached your limit on the number of books you can borrow at any one time from the Library... or it's cold and raining and you don't want to leave your room - it's worth checking to see if there's an e-copy. 

E-books are available to you 24/7 from any device which is connected to the internet, so can be used anytime and anywhere.

Find e-books using the Enterprise catalogue

Search the Enterprise catalogue for the book or topic you need and once you are viewing your results limit them using the Online and Book filters on the left-hand side.

Enterprise search filters

Your results should now only include e-books. To read the e-book, follow the 'Click here for online access link' and enter your university username and password.

Search Enterprise now using the box below:
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Finding articles

It's simple! Summon it!

Use the Summon discovery service to find journal articles on a topic. Just pop in your search words and you'll find a list of relevant articles which you can access straight away, both on- and off-campus.

View our brief video for an intro to making the most of Summon:

Explore beyond Summon

If you want to explore resources beyond Summon, or do more sophisticated searching on specialist resources for your subject, then take a look at relevant databases using the link below:

What's where?

CompassBooks are currently located on the 3rd and 4th Floors of the Library whilst refurbishment takes place:

3rd Floor - art, linguistics & language, philosophy, psychology, religion, science and technology

4th Floor - computing, economics, education, history, law, literature, politics and social sciences

Explore the links below for more detail:


Most books in the Library can be borrowed. Just collect them from the shelves and take them to a self-service point on the Ground Floor. You'll need your Campus Card too.

Loan allowances
Undergraduates Up to 15 books for up to 3 weeks
BA Education students Up to 20 books for up to 3 weeks
Taught postgraduates Up to 20 books for up to 3 weeks
Research postgraduates Up to 25 books for up to 6 weeks

Want more detail? See the link below:

Course Collection

The Course Collection is where we put the key textbooks for your modules. You can find it in the URS Building, which is open 24-7 in term-time so that you can always access them.

The Enterprise catalogue will indicate when a copy is in the Course Collection. You can borrow most of these overnight. Watch out if you bring it back late though, we charge our highest fines on these copies because they are needed by so many people.

Special Collections of archives, rare books and more

Detail from a Huntley & Palmers biscuit tinDown at the London Road campus is the Special Collections Service. Their collections include rare books, manuscripts, records, letters, photographs, maps and drawings - they can be a great resource for your studies and dissertation.