Glossary of terms
An explanation of some of the terminology you may come across in the Library.
The call number of a book is a code that tells you exactly where it will be shelved. The two main schemes used in the Library are Library of Congress and Dewey Decimal.
Library of Congress uses letters and numbers (e.g. "QA 54.26") - with books arranged firstly in order of the letters, then by the numbers. Dewey Decimal uses only numbers.
These collections consist of the high demand items on course reading lists. Much is now available online and up to three items of physical stock can be borrowed.
If someone else has borrowed an item that you wish to borrow, you can recall it from them by placing a hold on the book. The person currently borrowing it will be required to return it within a week.
iSolutions looks after the University's computing network, public workstations and much of the University-wide software.
NOL stands for the National Oceanographic Library. It is part of the University Library, and located at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (NOCS).
OPAC stands for the Online Public Access Catalogue, and is commonly used to describe electronic catalogues of libraries.
Your PIN is your Personal Identification Number. The PIN can be used in conjunction with your staff/student/library card number to log into the catalogue. Library PINs are no longer required by University staff and students who are encouraged to login to WebCat using their University iSolutions Username & Password.
Library PINs are still required by other library user groups such as NHS & NERC staff and all members of the public registered with us.
Books significantly larger than normal are termed quartos. They are treated separately from the main sequence of books only because their large size means that it is more practical to shelve them together. Quarto books can be identified on WebCat by a ‘quarto’ prefix e.g. quarto WE 500.
If you already have a standard (three or one week) loan item you can renew it yourself up to ten times by using WebCat - unless someone else has placed a hold on it.
Course collection items can be reserved in advance using the reservations facility on WebCat. See loans staff for guidance if necessary.
ServiceLine is iSolutions’ central help-line offering first line help and advice on any IT or telephony related problem. ServiceLine can be contacted by email or telephone firstname.lastname@example.org or 023 80 595656.
Your User ID is your Student Number, as printed on your University ID card (including the initial number - "4" in the case of undergraduates).
When you borrow a book you will need to present your University ID card to the Library staff at the Loans Desk as it also acts as your Library card. Your user ID is also required if you used one of our self-service issue machines.
Some library user groups such as NERC, NHS and external borrowers will need to use this number, in conjunction with a Library PIN, to log into WebCat to access various services such as placing holds, and renewing loans.
WebCat is the name of the Library's computer catalogue. This is available from terminals inside the Library, and to any computer around the world that is linked to the World Wide Web. To access WebCat go to https://www-lib.soton.ac.uk/