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Ipswich Library User Guide: Using our library

Study Spaces


Study spaces and facilities

We have a range of study spaces all with IT facilities. The areas are zoned using a 'traffic lights' scheme indicating noise levels and behaviours appropriate for each area.


Group study 

Area for groups to utilise, meet up and study in. Mobiles can be used and cold food can be eaten. Please still be considerate to the people around you, who are using the space to work.

  • The Main library area offers an open space for groups to work together or study pods; three of which can be booked online up to one week in advance, or at tables. Our pods are fully equipped with IT facilities.
  • The mezzanine floor of the library is also available for group study, and is equipped with IT facilities.

Quiet study

The quiet study area's are for small groups or individual study. No mobiles allowed. Please refrain from eating in this area. Please keep talk to a low considerate level.

  • The PC Suite adjoins the library and is equipped with 20 PCs. It also has open desk space for you to study in with plug sockets for your own equipment. 


Silent study

The silent study area is for individual study only. No mobiles to be used. No food in this area. No group work or talking amongst individuals in this area.

  • The silent study room is at the rear of the library, and has 16 PC's, as well as open desk space for studying with IT facilities.
  • The postgraduate research room is a dedicated  study space for University of Suffolk postgraduate research students. It has 8 PC's.


Postgraduate research study

Within the Library we have a dedicated space which is only accessible to our postgraduate research community. the space is fully equipped to support personal and group work, has lockers, soft seating and desktop pcs. The PGR room is located at the back of the Library, and is open the same hours as the Library. 

How do I log into my Library account?

Go to the Library catalogue and enter your University of Suffolk student or staff number in the box on the right-hand side of the screen:

From here you can check what you have on loan, make reservations, renew items and look at your loan history.

Text a talker

If you are working in a designated quiet or silent study area, and someone near you is not behaving appropriately, help us to keep your spaces quiet and please tell a member of staff on the helpdesk or text us anonymously on: 

07921 234256

Finding Books

The classmark or shelfmark will tell you where to find a book on the shelves. You can find out an items 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  

Lost property

If you have misplaced something while you have been in the library, please check with the Library Helpdesk whether it has been handed in to the Library Lost Property. 

You can also call: 01473 338700 or email.

Please note
After 1 week all Library lost property will be transported to the University of Suffolk Lost Property office over at the Waterfront reception


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