All books in the Library are organized according to Dewey Decimal classification system. A book's number in the Dewey system is referred to as a "call number." Each number usually begins with three digits, followed by a period and series of numbers and letters. The only exception to this is for Canadian literature, which has a C before the initial three digits of the call number (see the picture on the right for an example). The three digit number groups books according to a broad subject area, and the remaining numbers and letters situate each book within a more specific topic within that broad subject area. There are eleven broad subject areas, arranged as follows:
000 General and miscellaneous subjects
100 Philosophy & psychology
300 Social sciences
500 Natural sciences & mathematics
600 Technology (Applied sciences)
700 The arts (Includes art, architecture, music, film, photography, television, and more)
800 Literature & rhetoric
C800 Canadian Literature & rhetoric
900 Geography & history
To find a book, start by searching the Library Catalogue:
Once you've found the book you're looking for, note its location and the call number that has been assigned to that particular book. Then go to where the book is held in the Library and browse the shelves for the book with the call number that you want. Remember that all books are arranged sequentially by call number, so that a book with the call number 101.112 will be shelved after a book with the call number 101.111, and so on.
For collections that are kept at the Circulation Desk, such as the Reserve Collection and the Film Collection, just ask a member of Circulation staff for the book or film you need.
If a the book's location says "See a librarian for assistance," then it is currently shelved in the C-100 level of the Library and is inaccessible to students. Please go to the Circulation Desk or Reference Desk to request the book. The Library staff will retrieve it for you and contact you via MIO when the book is available for pick-up. You may pick up all requested books at the Circulation Desk on the Main Floor.
The Library's Reserve Collection can be found at the Circulation Desk on the Main Floor. It has copies of the textbooks, language materials, print articles, and coursepacks that are being used in your classes. The Reserve Collection also provides dictionaries, calculators, and organic chemistry molecular kits. The lending periods on Reserve items can range from 2 hours to 14 days, depending on the item. You will always be told when the item is due back. Most 2-hour Reseve items may also be borrowed overnight Monday to Thursday beginning at 4 p.m., and on Friday beginning at 2 p.m. All overnight loans are due back the next morning the Library is open by 8:30 a.m.
To learn more about the Library's Reserve Collection, please consult our Library Reserve Collection LibGuide.
The Library has an extensive Film collection on DVD, which is available at the Circulation Desk. DVDs may be borrowed for 2 hours at at time.
If you don't have access to a DVD player at home, or need to view the film while on campus, please consult the following FAQ: How do I watch a DVD on campus?
On the shelves opposite the Circulation Desk on the Main Floor, on the side facing the Circulation Desk, you will find the Library's CD collection. This small collection has been largely selected by the College's music teachers and is a valuable resource for all music students.
On the portion of the L-shaped shelves near the Circulation Desk that faces the windows, you will find the Library's New Books Collection. As its name implies, this is a collection of all of the newest books available at the Library. We are constantly adding new books to this section, so it's good to check it often. To see a full list of our newest books, please consult The Library's newest additions guide. Any books in this collection may be borrowed for 14 days.
On shelves facing the Circulation Desk on the Main Floor, the Library has an excellent collection of graphic novels in English and French collection. Developed in consultation with Faculty at the College, we have a wide range of award-winning works from a variety of genres. All of the the items in this collection can be borrowed for 14 days.
For a full list of the Library's Graphic Novel Colleciton, go to our Graphic Novels LibGuide.
The Reference collection is contained in the first two L-shaped shelves on the Main Floor of the Library. This collection contains hundreds of specialized encyclopedias, commentaries, handbooks, and dictionaries for you to consult when you are doing research. They can be used in the Library or borrowed for 3 hours at a time, but they cannot be borrowed overnight.
The Periodicals collection is the Library's print collection of scholarly journals and popular magazines. It can be found primarily on the shelves surrounding the study space closest to the Circulation Desk on the Library's Main Floor. The latest issues of several periodicals are also available in the Lobby area of the Library's Main Floor.
For details on the Library's Periodicals Collection, consult our Periodicals Collection LibGuide.
At over 30,000 books, the Circulating Collection makes up the bulk of our holdings. All the books in the Circulating Collection may be borrowed for 14 days at a time.
The Circulation Collection is housed on the Ground Floor of the Library. The Collection takes up the majority of the floor, with multiple study spaces available around, and sometimes in, the Collections shelves.
Please note that, while the renovations are being completed on the Library's Ground Floor, the Circulating Collection is not directly accessible to students. If you need a book from the Collection, please request it at the Circulation Desk or Reference Desk. The Library staff will retrieve it for you and contact you via MIO when the book is available for pick-up. You may pick up all requested books at the Circulation Desk on the Main Floor.