How do I find a book?


To find a book in one of the libraries, you will need to first search for the library catalogue using the Library Search Tool or use the link on your module reading list in KEATS.

If you need help using the Library Search or Reading List system, see our 'Getting Started with the Library' section in the subject specific Library Guides.

Do we have the book?

If yes,

  1. For all libraries except for the Maughan Library (see How to find a book at the Maughan Library), find the book on Library Search using keywords (title or/and author)
  2. Click on the 'Available at...' and make a note of the library location (e.g. Franklin-Wilkins library) and the classmark.
  3. Click on 'GET IT' or scroll down to the locations section.
  4. Click on 'Locate' in Library Search, and it will link to the relevant floor plan for the library, you can then match up the classmark to find the location of the relevant shelf. The floor plans are also online on the location pages or on the walls around the libraries. Note that the letters on the floor plans indicate the first letters of the classmark.
  5. Locate the book and issue using a self-service kiosk in the library - you just need your King's ID card.

If no, then look at the "Using external libraries" tab on the subject specific Library Guides. These include Senate House and other libraries you can gain access to in London as a King's student or staff member. If you still can't find a copy of the book, you can use the Interlending and Document Delivery service.

What is a classmark?

Books are organised on the shelves using classmarks. We use the Library of Congress Classification Scheme which creates classmarks using a series of letters and numbers.

Example book – The Weimar Republic by Detlev Peukert has the classmark DD237 PEU

  • The initial letters denote the general subject area e.g. DD denotes the History of Germany.
  • The next numbers denote a more specific subject area e.g. DD237 denotes General works on the History of Germany post-1918.
  • The final combination of letters and sometimes numbers denote the author or editor e.g. PEU for the surname Peukert.

How to find a book at the Maughan Library

The Maughan Library is larger and more complex than the other King's libraries, with over 650,000 items and requires extra steps using the additional collection name to locate the books on the correct floor and room number. Use this online PDF guide that explains the extra process (bookmarks and signage with this information is also available in the Maughan Library).

If you require further help, ask a member of library staff wearing a purple lanyard or t-shirt.

Also see the getting started self-guided tour of the Maughan Library to understand the layout, facilities and services available.


  • Last Updated Mar 05, 2024
  • Views 3664
  • Answered By Pete Garner

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