Finding books to read

Finding books to read

"Do you have that book? I think it has a brown cover, it's about a girl who lives in the countryside in olden days'

We have a lot of items in our collections and across our fourteen libraries - sometimes it can be bewildering to find the book you're after, but we're always here to help. Here is how to find out whether we have a title in stock and where to find it when you visit the library.

Using the online catalogue

To find out by yourself whether we have a title in stock, use the online catalogue. (You can do this on a public access PC in a library, at home or anywhere from your own device)

This is what searching for a book on the online catalogue looks like.

Let's say I am interested in reading The darkest evening  by Ann Cleeves. I could simply type either the title or the author in the search box and click or tap Go.

As I know both the title and the author, I will type both in the search box.

Search box on the online catalogue

My search returned 5 results.

The first result has the mention [electronic resource] which means it is an e-book. To access it, I would simply click or tap on Access eBook online; the link would take me to the right platform to borrow it.

Catalogue results

The next two results are different paper editions of The darkest evening.

I can see there are copies currently available on the shelves at Newburn Library and at West End Library. Other copies are already out on loan or have been reserved by other library members.

Catalogue results

My local library is actually Kenton Library; I would prefer borrowing The darkest evening from there. In this case, I will reserve it by clicking or tapping Place a reservation underneath one of the titles (preferably the one that has either the most available copies or simply the most copies).

Place a reservation button

Next to or below the results is a section called Refine your search.

I could click or tap on one of the options to narrow down my search to only the results that are most relevant. If I was going to the city centre, I could refine to just the items at City Library.

Refine your search


Checking the titles for reading groups with the Advanced search

The online catalogue allows you to do more in-depth searching. As an example, here is what to do to get a list of all the titles available for adult reading groups. 

Click on Advanced search underneath the main search box. Main search box
You now have a lot of options to build a search. You could use the drop-down menus to specify which keywords are part of the title, which name is the author, what type of item you want, where it should be located, when it was published, etc. Advanced search

To find out which titles are available for adult reading groups, tick Adult book in the Item type tab and Reading Group Stock in the shelving location. Then Search.

To view the newly added titles first, use the Relevance drop-down menu and select Acquisition date: Newest to oldest.

Results relevance


Browsing the Reading Well collection using the Lists

To help you browse some specific collections on the online catalogue, we have created themed lists. Click or tap on the Lists icon to view them, then select one to see all the titles in that list.



Finding an item in the library

The online catalogue also helps you find an item once you are in the library. From your list of results, click or tap on the title to view the full information.

Catalogue record for How to relax

When looking for How to relax by Laura Milne at City Library, you should go to the Health and wellbeing section and look for books that have the number 613.792 on the spine - How to relax  will be among them.

Did you know?

There's thousands of books and other items for you to borrow from Newcastle Libraries. You can search the library catalogue your own computer, smart phone or device. Or you can use a PC in a library to search the catalogue.

You can also use our WiFi which is available free in every library to roam the shelves with your smart phone to track down your book.

finger at shelf mark image


What is the Dewey Decimal System?



Melvil Dewey developed his library classification system while working at the Amherst College Library. In 1876, at the age of 25, he published 200 copies of the Dewey Decimal System as a 44-page pamphlet.

As libraries around the world adopted the Dewey system, it expanded. By the twelfth edition in 1927, it was 1243 pages long. And with the first online edition published in 1993, it continues to adapt to new technology.




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