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Department of Computer Science and Technology

Library guides



Welcome to the Computer Laboratory library. These notes are intended to provide a short intorduction to simple use of the library for new readers. Should you require more information then the full guide may help.

Opening hours

The library is open and staffed between 9am and 5pm, but the librarian is away for lunch between 1 and 2pm. Current members of the laboratory may gain access outside of these hours using their university card.


The library holds a wide range of material covering all aspects of computer science, serving the needs of staff, postgraduates and undergraduates. The most frequently used items are kept on open shelves, with other material available on request from the stacks. The library’s collections fall into the following broad categories:

  • Undergraduate course texts are kept in the booklocker, the first row of shelves immediately to the left of the main entrance.
  • Monographs including the remainder of the main bookstock and conference proceedings.
  • Periodicals are arranged on the open shelves beyond the classified sequence of books, and shelved in alphabetical order of title.
  • Student projects from the Tripos and M.Phil courses are kept toward the back of the library. Consult the printed lists for help in locating a specific project.
  • Technical reports from the Laboratory and elsewhere are kept in the stacks. You can search the catalogue tofind a report and the librarian will be happy to fetch it for you.
  • Archives from the earliest history of computing to the present day are likewise kept in the stacks. Please ask the librarian if you with to consult any of this material.
  • Videorecordings, principally of the Wednesday seminars, and a few other Lab events are retained in the stacks. Recent seminars have not been recorded on video tape, but may be available online instead.

Finding items

All books and reports are entered on the Newton catalogue. When looking for older material remember that the records are rather short so confine your search to author’s names and titles. Journal titles but not individual articles are also on the catalogue. New users may find LibrarySearch more intuitive, although Newton still gives a more accurate view of the original data.

Shelf arrangement

Items are classified using the ACM scheme and information on the layout of this is posted on the ends of the shelves. Each classmark consists of a letter and two numbers; the second of these being a running number. Books are shelved in order of the letter first, and within each letter by the numbers. The letter ‘L’ before the running number indicates an item is in the booklocker, and a letter ‘Z’ signifies that it is in the oversize sequence.

Electronic resources

Many resources are now available online, and for most journals this is now the principal mode of access. Full lists of electronic journals can be found from the University Library’s website. The Laboratory also has access to the ACM and IEEE digital library packages. The monographic series Lecture Notes in Computer Science is also frequently used.


Staff and students may borrow items using the self-service terminal. You will need to scan the barcode on the back of your University card and the barcodes inside each book. The normal loan period is two weeks, or two days for items in the booklocker. Periodicals and reference books classified under A may not be borrowed. Please register with the librarian before borrowing for the first time. If you find you need to keep items beyond the due date, then you can make renewals from the Newton catalogue. Alternatively, please ask the librarian for assistance.

If you have any queries then please ask the librarian or consult the full documentation available inside the library.