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Josephine Butler

Study spaces

About the Library and IT Suite

Josephine Butler maintains a small but useful collection of frequently used books. We try to stock books which are often placed on short-term loan in the main library (key textbooks, etc.). Our library is housed in the IT Suite, and both are open 24-hours a day.


To use the printer in the IT Suite, you must first purchase Durham University printing credits here. You will then be able to swipe your campus card at the printer and select the document you wish to print. If the printer is out of paper, or there is a problem with the printer, please see someone in the JCR office.

Finding a Book

Like most libraries, Josephine Butler library uses the Dewey Decimal system to catalogue books. This means that books are grouped together by subject area. If you already know the dewey decimal number of a book (also known as the shelfmark), simply find the location on the stacks. Generally speaking, the shelfmark will be a number (corresponding to the subject area) followed by three letters (corresponding to the surname of the author): e.g. 210.345 GRE. You can find the shelfmark of the book by searching for the book in the main university catalogue:

Once you have found your book, you can also "browse the stacks" for related books which you might find interesting. Our library is organized sequentially by following key classes:

  • 000 – General works, Computer science and Information
  • 100 – Philosophy and psychology
  • 200 – Religion
  • 300 – Social sciences
  • 400 – Language
  • 500 – Pure Science
  • 600 – Technology
  • 700 – Arts & Recreation
  • 800 – Literature
  • 900 – History & Geography
  • LARGE – Oversized books of all subjects
  • REF – Refence books (e.g. dictionaries) which cannot be checked out

If you cannot find a book, please check the library catalogue to check that you have the correct shelfmark, check the neighbouring books on the shelves to check incase it has been put back correctly, and finally check the LARGE bookcase incase it is shelved there.

Borrowing Books

To borrow a library book please take the book to the self-service screen and use your student card to check the book out. You will need to first scan your campus card and then the library barcode (not the ISBN barcode) which can be found on a sticker inside the back cover. All the books are available for loan for three weeks, with up to ten renewals.

Books which have not been checked out with a campus card must not be removed from the IT suite.

Returning Books

To return a book, please place it in the dropbox by college reception.

Requesting New Stock

Due to the limited size of the library, we only purchase books which are on short-term reading lists or of value to a wide-range of students. To request a book, please email providing full details of the book and the reason you think we should purchase it (e.g. inclusion on a reading list, module name etc).


All fines must be paid at the Bill Bryson library.

Reserving a Book

If a college library book is currently out on loan, you may reserve it via the university Library catalogue. Once it is returned to the library, it will kept on the hold shelf in the library for collection via the self-service screen. You will receive an email once the book is available. If the book is not checked out within one week then the book will be returned to general circulation.