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Library FAQ

Library FAQ

Can’t find the answers you need? This page lists the most frequently asked questions.

The Deputy Librarian and Libraries Assistant are available on weekdays and are always happy to help!

How do I find a book?

First you will need the classmark. The classmark can be found on the items record in the Library catalogue: idiscover.cam.ac.uk . Once you have the classmark you can find the correct section via the classification scheme and Library map (you’ll soon know where the sections you most use are!)

For more detail on this, and how exactly the understand classmarks please refer to:

 Searching and Finding

I am trying to borrow a book but the Self-Service machine isn’t working.

If a member of staff is there please let us know and we will assist you, otherwise, please fill in a manual borrowing form, which can be found next to the Self-Service machine scanner. This can be left for a member of staff in the outer Library Office.

I can’t find the section I need

Some sections are in unexpected locations, due to the size and nature of the building. Please see the Searching and Finding section and check the Classification scheme outside the Library Office in Right Cloister as well as the Library Map. If a member of staff is available please ask as they will be happy to help.

The book that I need is not on the shelf, but it is listed as ‘Available’ on iDiscover – what should I do?

Please let a member of library staff know, either in person, e-mail or via the Missing Book Search form, which can be found to the right of the Self-Service machine.

What should I do if the College Library does not hold a copy of the book I need for my course?

We purchase a significant number of book recommendations from students. Please see the Recommending Books section. Please let a member of the library team know, they may be able to purchase a copy if it meets the library acquisition criteria.

I’m not a current Magdalene student or Member of the College, can I use the library?

Access to the Library during staff working hours may occasionally be permitted to individuals from other Cambridge Colleges who are not Magdalene members, for the purpose of consulting books not readily available elsewhere. Such access is by appointment only and can be arranged by contacting the Deputy Librarian.

Can I bring a friend from another College to study in the Library?

Access to the Library during staff working hours may occasionally be permitted to individuals from other Cambridge Colleges who are not Magdalene members, for the purpose of consulting books not readily available elsewhere. Such access is by appointment only and can be arranged by contacting the Deputy Librarian.

To check for places to study in cambridge, including locations that allow group work, check out Spacefinder.

I am trying to access an e-book/e-resource but I can’t figure out how to log in.

Often the best way to access an online resource that the University has access to is to search for it first on iDiscover and then follow the link to the resource from the catalogue record. If you are on the University network it will log you straight in, if not it may prompt you to log in via Raven.

Does the College Library have standing desks?

The College Library does not have standing desks, but we can provide laptop stands which enable you to adjust your workspace. Please ask at the Library office for help.