How to orientate in the open shelves collection

How to orientate in the open shelves collection

The open shelves give readers open access to the library collections without any assistance from librarians. In the Library of Law Faculty of Charles University in Prague, there is open-shelves access to books and journals.

Books in the open shelves collection

  • Since the half of 1997, all new acquisitions to the Library have been included in the open-shelves collections. Older publications are included selectively.
  • All the books on shelves are marked by a colored label and a location mark. Books labeled in green can be borrowed home. Books marked in red cannot be borrowed out of the Library and remain in the open-shelves collection.
  • According to their contents, the books are divided into 21 groups in accordance with the structure of classification.

Location marks

The placement of books is determined by location marks constructed as follows:

  • Numerical group code – e.g. 08.21
  • Country code e.g. CZ
  • Main heading e.g. SkŘí (it consists of the two initial letters of the author’s name and the two initial letters of the title, in case of collective authorship, it consists of four initial letters of the title)
  • Number differentiations – e.g. SkŘí1, SkŘí2. It is used to ensure that two different publications do not have the same label. 
  • The numbers after slashes, e.g. SkŘí/1 SkŘí//2. The number after the simple slash indicates the sequence of the volume in case of multivolume publications. The number behind the dual slash indicates the sequence of the edition. This indication guarantees to place all volumes of multivolume publications together and all editions of one title at one place.
  • Example: LANGBEIN, John H. The Origins of Adversary Criminal Trial. Oxford: University Press, 2003. Location mark: 08.2/GB/LaOr

Bookshelves with numbers 0-8 are placed in Study room I, bookshelves 9-19 in Study room II, and bookshelves 20-21 in Study room I in the basement.

Journals in the open shelves collection

  • The majority of the subscribed journals are exhibited in study rooms.
  • Due to the lack of capacity, only the journals issued in the current year are available in the open shelves collection.
  • Bound yearly issues are deposited in the repository. In case of interest, readers can request them at the information desk.
  • List of subscribed journals is available on the website in the section Journals.

The principle of distribution of journals into the study rooms is analogous to the principle of distribution of books. Generally, journals of general character (collections of laws, bulletins, etc.) are concentrated in study room I, journals concentrating on particular law disciplines are available in study room II. The list of periodical journals and their location is available at the loan service.