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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 or dropping by our office in the library.

I want to recall a book, but can’t see the recall option on the record.

You need to be logged in before the recall option appears.

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

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 If they are closed then the library office might have some paper you can use. The Porters may also be able to give you some paper for the printer.

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. 

I thought I borrowed a book correctly 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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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 list on the right of the screen or from the drop down list on the right of the search box.

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.

The classmark says ‘Jesuan Collection - Reference’.

This item is shelved in the Old Library or Webb Library, not the Quincentenary Library. If the book is a 20th century or late 19th century book, if you give the details to a librarian we can fetch it for you. You can read it in the Quincentenary Library, but you won’t be allowed to borrow it. For earlier books, you will need to book an appointment to read it in the Old Library. Please note it may take some time to collect these books, so it is worth seeing if there is a copy available elsewhere.

How long can I borrow a book for?

You can borrow up to ten items for 7 days (undergraduates) or 28 days (postgraduates, fellows, staff). However these books will autorenew unless recalled.

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.

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.

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 with details of the item you'd like to borrow. We will borrow it for you and leave it on the Recalls Shelf for you to collect.

The photocopier is broken or out of paper.

Please tell the librarians or 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

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

When you’re using iDiscover click on ‘Login to iDiscover’ at the top right of the screen and log in using your Raven password. When logged in clicking on your name will give you the option to see what loans you have in all of the Cambridge Libraries using this system. If you are using the catalogue computers in the library, remember to log out when you have finished.

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.

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.

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.

The Jesus College book that I need is shown as ‘on loan’

To recall the book you must first log into iDiscover using your Raven password. Click on the Jesus Copy in the Request options, you will then be able to recall the book. You will 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. Recalls only operate in term time.

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. 

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 or by calling +44 (0)1223 339945.

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.

How do I get an interlibrary loan?

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

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.

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.

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 It's possible that the librarian will be able to replace the book for you quickly.

How do I find out what DVDs 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.

WiFi has stopped working – what should I do?

Let the IT Department know. In the meantime we have network leads which you can use to connect to the network.

How do I reach iDiscover from the University home page?

Click 'Libraries'. You'll be taken to the Cambridge Libraries page, which includes an iDiscover search box.

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 beside the machine.

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