The Short Loans Centre is on Level 4 of the Chancellor Oppenheimer Library.
Many books and photocopied readings essential to your courses have been placed there by lecturers.
You will need to give the staff both the title and shelf number of the book you want.
Short Loan material is issued for 1 or 3 hours only.
You must return Short Loan material to the Short Loans Centre.
Important note about electronic vs. print books: While the Library still maintains strong print collections, it is important to note that many of our newest books are available only in electronic rather than print versions. This is especially so in the Social Sciences but can also be true of some critical or highly-used works in the Arts and Literature subjects.
It is therefore essential to use the library catalogue, Primo, which has hotlinks to the electronic books, since browsing the physical collection alone will cause you to miss the up-to-date, new material added to the Library holdings over the last few years.
Our books are given shelf numbers according to the Dewey Decimal System - these shelf numbers keep related books together by subject. You can follow the numbers like a street address to find a family of related books all together on the shelf.
Here are some of the most useful shelf numbers for Sociology:
300 Social sciences
301 Sociology & anthropology
302 Social interaction
303 Social processes
304 Factors affecting social behavior
305 Social groups
306 Culture & institutions
20 Political science
321 Systems of governments & states
322 Relation of state to organized groups
323 Civil & political rights
331 Labor economics
332 Financial economics
333 Economics of land & energy
335 Socialism & related systems
360 Social problems & services; associations
361 Social problems & social welfare in general
362 Social welfare problems & services
363 Other social problems & services
365 Penal & related institutions
371 Schools & their activities; special education
372 Elementary education
373 Secondary education
374 Adult education
378 Higher education
379 Public policy issues in education
391 Costume & personal appearance
392 Customs of life cycle & domestic life
393 Death customs
394 General customs
The Government Publications Department houses a collection of documents (both current and historical) from local, provincial and national government bodies, for example, the Census, legislation, parliamentary proceedings, and documents dealing with planning, policy, public finance and statistics. South African government documents, and documents from regional bodies and governments across Africa are also collected, as are publications from the United Nations system and from former colonial powers. The library is on Level 4 of the Chancellor Oppenheimer Library.
PRIMO is a tool for searching across the UCT library book catalogue as well as a selection of our databases of full text journal articles, all with one query.
You can find it on the library homepage at www.lib.uct.ac.za
In this example we going to do a search in the Sociology of Literature – (the study of literature as a reflection of its society), and a very nice topic for bridging both the Arts and the Social Sciences it is too.
We are going to look for a particular author – Nontsizi Mgqwetho.
This quick search brings up the copies that we have of her work, as well as books and articles about her work.
Clicking on the TITLE of the top record takes me to the records for the printed books and gives me the shelf number so I can find them on the shelves: It says the book is available at the African Studies Library and other locations.
The African Studies Library is a research and archive collection, which collects and preserves books in stock for the generations yet to come and attracts researchers from around the world. In consequence the African Studies collection books can only be read in that library and may not be borrowed.
The Main Library copy is the one that can be borrowed, but you have to get into the full record to finds its specific shelf number.
The shelf number works like a street address – just follow the numbers up or down until you get to the address you want. Shelf numbers keep related books together, so once you have found your book, it is often useful to browse the books on either side of it as well.
In fact, you don’t even have to physically be in the library to do it… If you again click on the title of one of the results, you will be taken to the full record for the book – which has a virtual browse option – so you can see all its neighbouring books…. You never know what you will discover that way.
By clicking on the blue subject headings in the record you can also call up similar books which share that subject heading.
On the search screen you can use a drop-down arrow to search only for electronic journal articles or electronic books or reference works.
In this example, restricting the search to Articles & other Electronic Resources, the top results are for electronic journal articles…
And further down we have an electronic encyclopaedia entry for her, also available online.
If I click on the title I will be taken to a full record for the article or electronic book, and a link to the database on which it lives:
And so to download the article:
The record also shows me how to cite the book or article – which I will need to do if I am going to use it in an essay:
Or, even better, it allows me to send the record to a program like RefWorks or Endnote, which does my citing for me, automatically, at the touch of a button….
The left-hand side of the screen has all sorts of options for refining or restricting your results:
The most useful are probably Peer-reviewed Journals (the most respectable journals, I which every article is vetted by other academics), Subject or Resource type:
If you are getting too many results – and PRIMO can bring up a lot of results – you can use an Advanced Search to search more precisely:
And if you are looking for a very specific book, journal or article – for example from a reading list - PRIMO has a Find By Citation form which can help you find exactly that reference. I’ll use a good social science example here:
Just put in as much information as you have on the reference:
Shaffer, P., 1998. Gender, poverty and deprivation: evidence from the Republic of Guinea. World Development, 26(12), pp.2119-2135.
And this will bring it up in both print and electronic versions:
And clicking on the full text or database link will take you to it.
It is possible to create very precise searches just using keywords.
The trick is to combine them with Boolean Operators, wildcards and brackets. Most of our databases, including our library catalogue, take Boolean operators.
Consider this search string:
(child* OR wom?n OR gender) AND poverty AND Africa* NOT “African American”
The * is a wildcard – it calls up anything that follows the root “child” – so it will being up child and children or childhood……
The ? is a mid-word wildcard – calls up women and woman…
The OR expands you options – women or gender must come up in the results, it doesn’t matter which….
The (brackets) keep the OR words together and relate them to the AND which follows – otherwise the search would call up anything to do with women, regardless of whether it had to do with poverty and Africa….
Any words linked with AND must be included in the search results - OR broadens a search, AND tightens it.
NOT excludes a term. Be careful of this. First search without it, to get an idea of what you are missing.
“Inverted commas” enclose a precise phrase.
To use Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) in PRIMO, you must enter them in CAPITAL LETTERS, otherwise PRIMO ignores them.
Don’t forget that you can restrict the search to electronic journal articles or electronic books only, using the drop-down arrow – useful if you are off-campus.
Social sciences encyclopedia – R 300.3 SOCI
International encyclopedia of the social and behavioral sciences R300.3 INTE (Librarian's note - absolute gold)
A-Z of social research – R 300.72 ATOZ
Encyclopedia of social measurement – R 300.72 ENCY
The Sage encyclopedia of social sciences research methods – R 300.72 SAGE
Blackwell encyclopedia of sociology – R 301.03 BLAC (Librarian's note - absolute gold)
Cambridge dictionary of sociology – R 301.03 CAMB
Handbook of social psychology – R 302 HAND
Encyclopedia of globalization – R 303.48103 ENCY
The dictionary of global culture – R 306.03 DICT
Encyclopedia of the city – R 307.7603 ENCY