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Library FAQs

Here you can find answers to some frequently asked questions about using the Quincentenary Library.

If you can't find what you need please get in touch with the library team by emailing quincentenary-library@jesus.cam.ac.uk, tweeting us @QuinLib, or dropping by our office in the library.

How long can I borrow a book for?

You can borrow up to ten items from the library for two weeks during term time, or over the whole vacation period.

My card doesn’t scan into the computer.

You need a University card with a barcode on the back – if you have a temporary card with no barcode you'll need to ask the librarians for help or fill out one of the borrowing slips. If the barcode on your card has rubbed off you'll need to get a replacement from the Porters’ Lodge.

I've lost my University card.

If you lose your University card please report it to the Porters' Lodge immediately; they will be able to arrange your replacement card. You can still borrow books without a card if you ask the library staff or invigilators for help.

I signed a book out but when I try to leave the alarm goes off.

First try borrowing the book again just in case the system didn’t work properly the first time. If the same thing happens please speak to the library staff. You aren't allowed to borrow a book if the system doesn't recognise it has been signed out.

A book I haven't borrowed or have already returned is showing up under my name.

Check to see if someone else borrowed your library card. If not, please see the librarians and explain the situation - if you can find the book somewhere in the library that will help. Unless you let us know about this you'll be charged a fine to cover the cost of replacing the book.

How do I find out what books I have out on my account?

When you're using iDiscover or Newton, look at the top for the ‘my library account’ tab. Log in by either using your Raven password or using your University card barcode (the code starting with a V on the back of your card) and your surname.

I'd like to borrow an item from the store or the library office, but I can’t get there during office hours.

Please email us at quincentenary-library@jesus.cam.ac.uk with details of the item you'd like to borrow. We will borrow it for you and leave it on the reference desk for you to collect.

How do I get an interlibrary loan?

Interlibrary loans can be obtained from the University Library and some faculty libraries. 

The computers are logged out / the screen is stuck / the search is taking a long time to process.

Please let the librarians know about this so that we can address the problem. You can find us in the library office or email us at quincentenary-library@jesus.cam.ac.uk

Which should I use – iDiscover or Newton?

The best general search engine for books, e-books, journals, articles, and DVDs is iDiscover as it is more comprehensive. For example e-books haven't been added to Newton since 2011.

How do I reach iDiscover from the University home page?

Click 'Libraries and facilities'. You'll be taken to the Cambridge University Libraries Gateway, which includes an iDiscover search box.

How do I limit my search in iDiscover to just items held in Jesus College?

Once you've done your initial search select ‘Jesus College’ from the ‘select location’ drop down list on the right of the screen.

How do I limit my search in Newton to just books held in Jesus College?

Make sure you're in the ‘Colleges A-N’ database on Newton. Then, when you're in advanced search, choose ‘Jesus College’ from the location option.

The book that I need is shown as 'on loan'.

On iDiscover click on ‘check request options’. You'll be asked for your University card barcode number (the five digit number under the barcode) and your surname, this will log you into your library account. From there you can recall the book. You'll get an email when the book has been returned to the library, where it will be available from the recall shelf for you to collect.

The book I need is shown as ‘missing’.

Please fill in one of the purple recommendation slips that can be found on the reference desk or email quincentenary-library@jesus.cam.ac.uk. It's possible that the librarian will be able to replace the book for you quickly.

The book I need isn't in the catalogue and I need it for an essay tomorrow.

Please explain the situation to staff in the library office; sometimes we can buy a book very quickly if it's available in a local bookshop.

The classmark says ‘Jesuan Collection – Reference’. What does that mean?

That means that this item is in the Old Library, not the Quincentenary Library. If you give the details to a librarian we can fetch it for you. Then you can read it in the Quincentenary Library, although you won't be able to borrow it.

The classmark starts with ‘store’, how do I borrow the book?

Store books can only be accessed by the librarians. Just tell us which book you'd like to see and we will fetch it for you, then you can borrow the book as normal.

The classmark is ‘oversize’ – where is this book?

You can find the oversize books in our collection in the Creswick Room, just by the door.

I've found the classmark of a book that I want but I can’t find it on the shelf.

Please check that you've written down the classmark correctly. Try looking around the shelves and tables where the book should be; sometimes they get misplaced. If you still can't find it please ask library staff for help.

What are the library rules?

You can find the library rules in hard copy within the library guide leaflets on the reference desk or on the library pages of the College intranet JNet.

How does the photocopier work?

You need to use your University card to use the photocopier and pay for your copies. You'll find full instructions and prices on the board above the machine.

The photocopier is broken or out of paper.

Please tell the IT department staff and they can call an engineer or restock the paper tray as needed. If the problem occurs out of hours, then please email it-support@jesus.cam.ac.uk.

I have heard that the library has some ‘light reading' books. Where are they?

We have a small collection of 'light reading' books for when you want a break from studying. You can find them in the room next to the library office.

How do I borrow light reading books? They don’t have a barcode.

We lend out the light reading books on a trust basis. You don’t need to sign them out on the computer; they're not in the catalogue. Just take a book and return it when you're finished. 

How do I find out what DVDs and CDs you have?

All our audio visual materials are listed on the library catalogue under their title and the name of the director or composer. There's also a list of them on the College intranet JNet library pages.

The computers are not working in the Kwok Room.

Please report any problems with computers in the Kwok Room to staff in the IT department. You can reach them by email on it-support@jesus.cam.ac.uk or by calling 01223 339945.

The Kwok Room printer is out of paper.

If the printer in the computer centre runs out of paper please let the IT department staff know by emailing it-support@jesus.cam.ac.uk. If they are closed then the Jesus College Student Union (JCSU) representative can help, or the library office might have some paper you can use. The Porters may also be able to give you some paper for the printer.

I've spilt some water on one of the books.

Please bring the book to the library office straight away so that we can dry it properly and stop it going mouldy. 

I hear that you have wireless internet in the library building – how do I connect?

You can find instructions for connecting to eduroam WiFi on the College intranet JNet. There are also written instructions in a folder on the library reference desk.

In the past I have had problems with the WiFi. Where is it best to work?

The WiFi network has been upgraded and there are now WiFi access points in the Kwok Room, Creswick Room, and EDS Room; signal strength in any of those three rooms is excellent. There are also WiFi access points in the Law Library, the Garden Room, and on the top floor of the library. If you have any problems connecting please email IT support on it-support@jesus.cam.ac.uk for help.

I want to work somewhere where I can plug in my laptop.

Most areas of the library have good access to power sockets. Please be considerate of others, and remember you're not allowed to bring in your own extension lead.

Which are the ‘live’ internet sockets?

There are network sockets in most areas of the library, and if you have an ethernet cable you can connect to the internet through the ones which are marked with a blue sticker.

I don't understand the classmark / call number system.

The library uses the Bliss Classification System: there are alphabetical classmarks that spiral clockwise down through the library, starting with A in the top corner of the building and finishing with Z on the ground floor. You'll find notices next to the shelves explaining how the system works.

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