HELP! How do I find my book?

First off, make sure you have checked your book is available by looking it up on

Not only will you find the shelfmark that will help you locate your book, but it will also show you if copies are available.

What’s it all mean?

Green means go!

Here you can see that there is an available copy of this book. The word “available” is green (for yes we have it) and it is located at Merchiston Library shelfmark: 891.7342 BUL

Hurray! But now what?

Now you can go find your book!

The shelfmark is the location of your book so you are going to need to find it (kinda like a very simple treasure hunt!)

Start by matching the first part of the number: 891


Once you have located the 891’s it’s time to delve deeper. Now you need to match the digits after the 891.


That’s the 7342 after the decimal point. These numbers help narrow down the subject.

Once you have all the numbers matched you look at the Letters, in this case, BUL.

891.7342 BUL

The letters usually refer to the author or editor, not the title.

So the author of this book is Bulgakov, so BUL are the letters to match.

These go in alphabetical order so work your way along till you find your book.

Quick synopsis:

  1. Match the first 3 digits
  2. Match the digits after the decimal point
  3. Match the letters


It’s as simple as that…ok maybe not that simple!

If you have any problems a member of the Library staff will be happy to help!