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Getting Started in the Library

A guide for new students at the University of Tasmania

Library locations


Art Library   Carrington Smith Library
   Hunter Street, Hobart    

Law Library   Law Library
   Sandy Bay Campus, Hobart

Clinical Library   Albert G Baikie Clinical Library (Clinical Library)
   Collins Street, Hobart

Morris Miller Library

   Morris Miller Library
   Sandy Bay Campus, Hobart

Cradle Coast Campus   Cradle Coast Library
   Cradle Coast Campus, Burnie

Rozelle Campus   Rozelle
   Rozelle Campus, Sydney
   Guide for Sydney students

Launceston Library   Launceston Library
   Newnham Campus, Launceston


Most of the books in the Library's main collection are available for loan.  The Library also has a growing collection of eBooks - look under the Library Online tab for more information about using eBooks.

  • Reserve
    Reserve is a collection of books in each library branch that are in high demand - usually because they are on a Unit reading list. These items are available for 2 hour or 24 hour loan.
  • Reference
    The Reference collection in each library branch contains items like dictionaries, encyclopedias, and other titles that you may use to quickly look something up.  Reference materials are not available for loan and must be used within the library.



What is a journal, serial, or periodical?  

In libraries, any publication that has issues published on a regular basis is known as a serial or periodical - newspapers and magazines, for example.  Academic journals are also serials, but these are specialized publications where scholarly research on a subject is published.  You might think of them as the academic equivalent of magazines like Organic Gardener or Fishing World - but instead of telling you about making compost or the best lures to use for flathead, academic journals publish the latest research in a specific academic subject.  They are the very best sources to use for your research.

Most of the Library's journals are now available online, but there are still collections of print journals in most branches.  In many cases these will be older volumes that are not included in our online subscriptions, but some disciplines (Art, Architecture, Law) still need some of their journals in print format.  You will find print journals on the shelves labeled Journals/Serials.

Look under the Library Online tab to find out more about using online journals (eJournals).

Call Numbers

Libraries use something called a Classification System to arrange books on the shelves so that titles on the same subject are shelved together.  The UTAS Library uses the Library of Congress system, while most public and school libraries use the Dewey Decimal system.

All library classification systems use Call Numbers to tell you where to find a book, journal, or CD/DVD on the Library shelves.

On the screen, LC call numbers look like this: JZ 1318 .M36 2010

On the spine of a book they look like this:

Each call number starts with a letter code for a broad subject area, then each line narrows the focus until you have a unique number for each title.  It's a bit like looking for a street address in a city - you need to know the suburb, the street, and the house number:
JZ          Suburb
1318      Street
.M36      House number

How to find books on the shelves (PDF 239KB) - learn how to read a call number line by line.