FAQ—Frequently Asked Questions (and their answers)

We will add new questions now and then when we can.

If you have a question, come and ask us, email us, or use the comments box below and we will get back to you. We may even feature your question here!

The questions we’re mostly being asked are:

How do I return books?

There are two drop boxes just inside the library entrance doors. ALL ITEMS FOR RETURN should be deposited in these drop boxes through the letter-box style opening on the top. You can return dvds, cds, etc. as well as books to the drop boxes. The boxes are emptied at least twice a day; the returned items are removed from your library account, resensitized and reshelved.

A few items are too large to fit through the opening of the drop boxes, in which case make sure you hand them in to a member of staff to ensure they are removed from your record. Please try your best to get them to a member of library staff but if this is not possible, leave them on the library enquiry desk with a clear note attached stating ‘Please Return’ and include your name and email.

Do not leave items for return on trolleys or tables in the library.

To summarize, please make sure you place all items for return in the drop boxes. Or hand them to a member of staff or, if this is not possible, place them on the Library Enquiry Desk with a note attached.

Because of the delay between depositing items for return into the drop boxes and those items being removed from your account, you may wish to hand items for return directly to library staff if you need them to be returned immediately (to clear your record, for example, if you need to borrow more items straight away).

How can I print in the Library?

When using the Managed Cluster Service (MCS, formerly ‘PWF’) workstations or your own computer in the library you can print your documents (in black and white or colour) to an A4 laser printer located on the ground floor of the library. To print from your own computer you must install the PaperCut Client—full details and downloads are available from the DS-Print information pages—and connect across eduroam wifi (available arounf most of Homerton College) or wired college student rooms where network ports permit DS-Print traffic.

In order to print you must have Print Credits. These are obtained, after logging in to the MCS, via Start > All Programs > Account Management > eCredits and using a debit or credit card. Instructions for purchasing print credits are posted by the MCS workstations in the Library. Black and white printing costs 5p per A4 page, colour 10p per A4 page.

Occasionally workstations lose their connection to the printer. Check the Status of the printer in the print menu. If it says ‘Idle’ (as below), ‘Ready’ or  ‘Available’ then the connection is OK. If the status is  ‘Unavailable’ then you need to reboot the workstation to force it to reconnect with the printer (or log on to another MCS workstation).

PWF print menu 01When printing, make sure the correct printer is selected in the dropdown list. It should be \Hom_Lib_BW for black & white or \Hom_Lib_Col for colour printing:

Homerton PWF print menu

Also check the following points:

  • Check that your application’s Page Set Up (usually under File menu) is set to A4. All the MCS DS-Print laser printers use A4 paper (eg. If your application is set to US letter, A4 small or another size, then your printing will not appear).
  • Check that you have selected the correct printer: the default printer is usually in the room that you are using
  • Check that you have adequate print credit: Start > All Programs > Account Management > eCredit
  • Check the print queue to see if your job is listed (displayed on a screen beside the printer)
  • Check that there is enough paper in the printer

Related note: The library now has a scanner connected to one of the MCS workstations on the ground floor. See ‘Where things are’ page (under ‘Ground Floor’) for more information.

How do I use the photocopier?

The Library has a mono and colour self-service photocopier located on the Ground Floor underneath the Library stairs. It is card operated using your University Card.

In order to photocopy, you must have Print Credits. These are obtained, after logging in to the MCS computers, via Start > All Programs > Account Management > eCredits and using a debit or credit card. Instructions for purchasing print credits are posted by the MCS workstations in the Library. Black and white printing costs 5p per A4 page, colour 10p per A4 page.

To operate the photocopier, if the photocopier displays a black screen, wave your hand slowly over the black panel which will awaken the photocopier from sleep mode.

Hold your University card against the photo of a hand holding a card below the screen. A screen will appear showing your Cambridge ID and how much e-credit you have on your account. You are now logged in!

You can then select how many copies and what size (A4 or A3) you would like printed.

You can also use the photocopier to scan documents directly to email for free. Please ask at the enquiry desk for help.

Further information about photocopying, including Copyright Regulations and how to print from the MCS computers to the photocopier, is available in the Library on the main notice board.

What’s the best way to access online journals?

First, this from the University Library’s Newton help pages:

“A journal (or periodical) is a publication which is produced on an ongoing basis, usually at predictable intervals such as weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually. Some journals are published less regularly.

“It’s important to remember that [when searching on Newton] only the journal title appears in Newton, not the details of individual articles in each issue of the journal. So if you are looking for an item which is cited as: Konings, Martijn (2009) The construction of US financial power. Review of International Studies 35(1), pp.69-94, you will need to search Newton for ‘Review of International Studies’ (not for ‘The construction of US financial power’ or for ‘Martijn Konings’).”

Most academic journals are now available full text online as well as in printed ‘hard copy’ form (and some are now only online). An online version of journal is usually called an ‘electronic journal’ or ‘ejournal’. Using the Newton catalogue, (via Newton or LibrarySearch) you can search for any journal by title and a link to the online version will be listed when it is available.

However, Newton is more suited to locating hard copy print journals held in the university’s libraries. The best way to access ejournals is to visit the UL’s ejournals@cambridge portal where a search by journal title will quickly indicate if we have access to a journal online and which issues of the journal are available online (for some journals access is limited to just the most recent issues or sometimes to older issues but not to the very latest issue). There will be a link to the web address of the ejournal, which is usually one of the main ejournal providers such as Elsevier/ScienceDirect, JSTOR, Wiley Online, etc.

An advantage of accessing an ejournal via the University’s ejournals@cambridge portal is that you will bypass the providers’ login screens and go straight to the journal full text access page. (Off campus you will be directed through the Raven login page and then to the full text access). Note that abstracts and bibliographies are often viewable full text without a login.

Accessing e-journals via other methods than ejournals@cambridge (eg. Google or a bookmark) may result in having to locate the correct login link (which should be a ‘Shibboleth’ or ‘institutional gateway’ link). If, for any reason, you are not directed to the full text access, it is a tiresome fact that each ejournal provider (eg. ScienceDirect, JSTOR, etc.) has a different interface both for login and searching/reading their ejournals—it is a case of just getting used to the general principles and how each one works. To find the access point for Raven login, you need to search for a ‘log in via your institution’ or ‘Shibboleth‘ link and then select University of Cambridge from the drop-down list of institutions (note that we are usually under ‘U’ for University of Cambridge, not ‘C’ for Cambridge!). You should then be presented with the normal Raven login screen.

Refer to the ejournals@cambridge help pages, the UL’s Raven FAQ, and the Computing Service Raven page.

On your catalogue, where is the Main Library’?

When you search our catalogue the search results will indicate the location of an item by displaying its Dewey Decimal number and, as an additional aid, the area of the library where it will be found. Most of our items have a location of ‘Main Library’ which just means they are located in the main library sequence. This is virtually the whole of the ground floor (Dewey 000-899) except for History (Dewey 900-999) which is on the first (middle) floor. Other locations in the library are our special collections; examples of these are Quick Reference (ground floor), Children’s Literature Collection (CLC – floor 1), Oversized (mostly large art books – floor 1), Multimedia Collection (MMC –  CDs, DVDs, sheet music etc. – top floor) and Journals (reference only – top floor). Floor plans are posted in the library and are downloadable from the ‘Where things are’ page on this site.

Where is ‘A822’ shelved?

The literature section (and only the main literature section, not the Children’s Literature section), ie. Dewey 800-899, is shelved in six sections corresponding to the period when the writer was writing. The sections were originally based on the main period papers of the English Tripos Part 1, however it has now been decided to simplify to literature by century The six sections are indicated by different letter prefixes, and shelved in the order as follows:

  • 800-899 (no letter prefix) — General works and anthologies covering literature across a number of time periods or not specific to a particular time period
  • A800-A899 — Literature to 1700: Medieval and Renaissance literature
  • B800-B899 — Literature of the eighteenth century: primarily Augustine and Romantic literature
  • C800-C899 — Literature of the nineteenth century
  • D800-D899 — Literature of the twentieth century
  • E800-E899 — Literature of the twenty-first century – a new section recently introduced comprising writers whose writing was all or nearly all done in this century.

Foreign language material follows this same sequence – using the Dewey classification by country.

If a book is not written by or about about a particular person we use .9 to show it is more general and still use the period divisions if appropriate

As stated, these divisions apply only to Dewey 800-899. All six sections are shelved (in the order listed above) on the first floor (‘Main Library’ in our catalogue), in the far right hand corner as you enter the library.

So, let’s look for A822, the subject of the original question.  Dewey 822 is English drama (800=literature, 820=English literature, 822=English literature—drama), so A822 is English drama written up to 1600. It contains, amongst other drama of that period, Shakespeare’s plays. To find A822, you need to go past all the basic no prefix (general) literature (800-899) and then you get to the A800 sequence.

Just to confuse you, our Children’s Literature Collection (CLC) (children’s literature and books about children’s literature) is also numbered 800-899, but it is shelved on the second floor and has location ‘Children’s Literature Collection’ in our catalogue. CLC items all have green stickers on their covers. There are no letter-prefixed period sections in the children’s literature, just one 800-899 sequence. ‘Adult’ literature will always have location‘Main Library’. So check the catalogue record if in doubt on this point.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s