Skip to main content
University of Wollongong Australia

Finding resources: Finding books and eBooks

How can I find books on my topic?

There are two ways to search for books and ebooks in the Library:

Use SEARCH to do a broad search using topic keywords to find out what we have on your topic. Your results will be ranked according to relevance and can be refined by source type (i.e. books), or limiting by date, location etc.

Use our Catalogue to search for a specific author, title or call number. Choose 'more options' for advanced keyword searching on your topic or to set limits.

Using call numbers

The Dewey Decimal system of classification used at the Library uses call numbers help organise books by subject and help you find them on the shelves. When you need a book you've found in SEARCH or the catalogue:

  • Write down all parts of the call number. 
    Periods (.) and slashes (/) separate the different parts of the call number, e.g. 378.170281/22. 
  • Use the labels on the bookshelves to find 378.170281 (remember, 378.17 comes before it and 378.171 comes after)
  • Look at the sequence of books at 378.170281 to find 378.170281/22
  • The number after the slash is the approximate location of the book on the shelf (as books are shelved in numerical order)

The book I want is on loan

Place a hold on a book that is on loan or try BONUS+, a resource–sharing initiative that allows you to borrow selected books from other participating university libraries.

The number of holds you can place is dependent on your membership category.


There are many benefits for using eBooks:

  • they're accessible 24/7
  • you can access high demand titles during peak times
  • you don't have to wait for them to be reshelved

Discover eBooks in SEARCH - Refine SEARCH results by limiting to full-text and selecting eBooks from under Source Types

Popular eBook databases include: