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New students' guide to the library

New to Federation University? This guide outlines the library's services and resources


If you want to grab something from the shelf at your campus library, there are a few things you need to know first.

  • Record the entire call number. If you only have the first part, then you might not find the item.
  • Determine what collection it's in and where this item might be.
    • What it might be - Multimedia, Realia or the Teaching Resource Collection (TRC)?
      • Realia and the TRC might be in a different part or level of your campus library
    • Where it might be - which campus library and is it Main or Quarto?
  • The Library uses the Dewey Decimal system to arrange books by subject, but all you need to know that Dewey is a numerical system to assign a unique number to an item which allows someone to find it on a shelf.
    • Some call numbers are super-short, with as few as 3 digits, while others are intimidatingly long and in excess of 17 digits and characters. 
    • DON'T get put off by a long number - break it into manageable chunks by starting off with the first three numbers.
    • Once you start getting into the letter range of the call number you're getting close and might find the book more easily by looking for the title or author name on the spine of the book.
  • The end of each shelf has a small sign with the call number range for each side of the shelf, for Main and Quarto books.
  • The library shelving system is arranged in a way that if you follow an ascending range of numbers along a shelf, you will do a U-turn at the end of that shelf and turn to the beginning of the next shelf behind you.
  • Ask for help if you can't find an item. Library staff can check
    • Return trolleys
    • To-be-shelved area
    • Lending system to see if someone borrowed it while you were looking

infographic describing how to find a physical item in the library

Students can 'place a hold' or request an item (print book or multi-media)

  • that is from another Federation University library campus
    • The Federation University Library will send the item/s between campus libraries free of charge
  • that is currently on loan
    • Some books such as textbooks are in high demand and rarely get returned during a semester, so if you need access to the book you must 'place a hold' on the book to be in line to borrow it.

When the item is available at your campus library, a notification is sent to your student email account to let you know it has arrived, or you can check your MyLibrary! app

Ask at your campus library where the Hold Shelf is situated.

When you have finished with the item, return it to your campus library and the library staff will take care of the rest.

Conditions of borrowing

  • If the book is listed as AVAILABLE and from another campus library, you will receive it within 3-5 working days after placing your Hold. Check your Federation email account for notification. 
  • If a book is ON LOAN, you can follow the above process to be placed in queue for when the book is available.
  • Please note that Federation Reference, Multimedia, Reserve or Special Collection items are limited to on-campus lending.    

Loan periods, renewals and late returns

Do you reside outside of Australia?

  • Print or media items will not be posted overseas
  • You can request a copy of the table of contents of books to check whether you would like a chapter delivered to you.

Electronic delivery of print material

Undergraduate students

You can request electronic copies of journal articles and book chapters which are only available in print. Contact the Library for further assistance.

Postgraduate students

Use the Document Delivery service to request web delivery of journal articles and book chapters only available in print or not held by Federation University.  For information on other library services for postgraduates see the Library Staff and postgraduates page.

How do I ... ?

image for decoration purposes

Click on each drop down for an explanation

Borrowing guidelines for Federation TAFE and undergraduate students -  

100 item borrowing limit

14 day (2 week) borrowing period

eligible items will auto-renew up to 20 times (items such as laptops and other equipment are not eligible)

For more information go to

Students and staff are able to opt in to using the Reading History , which keeps a record of every item borrowed from the Federation University Library, from the time you turn on the Reading History .

Students and staff can view and renew their currently borrowed items through MyLibrary login on the library homepage, or through the MyLibrary! app that can be downloaded and installed on an Apple or Android device.

To login use your standard Federation username and password that is used to access Moodle, email or MyStudent Centre

Hard-copies of journals cannot be borrowed but the relevant article/s may be photocopied in the library

However, students can request electronic copies of journal articles or book chapters of books in eReadings or closed access collections .

Read more about how to make requests and any conditions of making a request at the following link.

The Library has access to an extensive collection of electronic journals through databases we subscribe to. These journals are available by searching:

Staff and students can submit a request for the library to purchase books.

Find out more information from here.


Use this link to suggest a title for purchase

  • You will be prompted to login with your username and password\
  • Then fill out this form

Remember, you can always ask for help from a librarian using the chat pop-out at the side of this guide