If you’re struggling to find a book on the shelf, check the shelf mark for one of the lower case prefixes, ‘p’, ‘q’ or ‘f’. These indicate the book is of irregular size, and therefore shelved out with the normal sequence.
- ‘p’ indicates that the book is a small booklet, known as a pamphlet, and is always located at the start of a run of books.
- ‘q’ indicates that the book is a larger-than-average book, known as a quarto, and is always located at the end of a run of books.
- ‘f’ indicates that the book is much larger than the average book, known as a folio, and is located on flat shelving elsewhere on the relevant subject floor.
Typical books (or octavos) do not have a lower case prefix, are placed on the main shelf in their subject areas and arranged alphabetically and numerically.