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East Coast College Libraries: Using our library

East Coast College libraries

Great Yarmouth: The Library at is located at B01, between the College Shop and Visions hair and beauty salon.

Lowestoft (St. Peter's St): The library is located on the stage - please head left when entering the main building and go through Student Services.

Lowestoft (Sixth Form): The library is located on the second floor, above the performance space.


Study spaces

The Library has tables available for group study and a number of desktop computers. Please refrain from eating and drinking in these areas.

Quiet study areas are available in the Study Room on Learning Street and in the HE Study Room.

CORONAVIRUS: Whilst study tables and computers are currently available, please consider whether you are able to use facilities off-campus.  If using library facilities, please wear a mask, maintain social distancing and use a sanitising wipe (available in the library) on your workspace before using equipment.

Finding books

The classmark or shelfmark will tell you where to find a book on the shelves. You can find out an item's shelf mark by looking on the library catalogue.  
We use the Dewey system which looks like this:

Books are shelved numerically digit by digit according to the number on the spine label:


636.1  is shelved before 636.2 which is shelved before 636.209

Within each subject books are shelved alphabetically according to the author or first word of the title:

591.1 DOB  [Author is Dobson] is shelved before 591.1 SMI [Author is Smith

Dewey breaks down subjects into broad areas known as classes

These are:

100     Philosophy and psychology

200     Religion 

300     Social science 

400     Language 

500     Science 

600     Technology 

700     Arts and recreation 

800     Literature 

900     History (by country and Geography)

Because of the way Dewey treats subjects it doesn’t follow that all books that have a historical slant are placed in the 900s, the way that our classification treats them is to put them with the subject.

The 300 section is an area where many history books end up, mainly because this class deals with social science – that is, people, education, society, economics, law, crime, politics and political systems etc.

For example, 

A book about women in the nineteenth century will be found with the books about women, this number is in the Social Science section (300s); so the number for women is 305.4

A book about Darwin would be placed in the Science section (the 500s); while a book about the history of education would be placed in the Education section (the 370s)

Common factors

There are some things that you can look out for:

If a number ends or contains 09 it means that the book has an historical treatment.

e.g. The class for women workers is 331.4
331.409 would be women workers – historical aspects
If the number contains 941 or 942 then the book will be about Great Britain or England. 941 is British Isles and 942 is England.

e.g. 305.5230942 is about the history of landed gentry in England  


All images included in this guide are available through Creative Commons licensing CC-BY-2.0