Wellington City Libraries

Te Matapihi Ki Te Ao Nui

Catalogue Help

At Wellington City Libraries we have several different catalogues you can use for browsing our collection. These are useful for different types of searching and tasks - below we've summarised what each catalogue is most useful for so you can choose the right tool for your task

Classic Catalogue

Our Classic Catalogue has both basic and advanced search options. As well, this is the tool to use if you want to:

  • Place multiple reserves at once
  • Print or email a bibliography (select records to email or print)
  • Place reserves on magazine issues
  • Choose to use the search interface in Māori, Samoan, or Chinese
  • Help for the Classic Catalogue is also available in Samoan and Te Reo.

Classic Catalogue is very useful if you have a particular title or author in mind. If you're not too sure what you're looking for, try Easyfind - our browsing catalogue.

Classic help


Easyfind is our browsing catalogue with a nice, easy, Google-like search box, but it also has an Advanced Search screen for more directed searching. As well, you can:

Easyfind help

How to locate items on the shelf

A map of Central Library is available here.

  • Fiction is shelved alphabetically under the author's surname. There are separate sections for Mysteries, Science fiction & fantasy and Short story collections. Central library also has a Graphic novel collection.
  • Non-fiction is shelved by Dewey number. At Central, adult non-fiction 000-899 is on the First floor, and 900-999 is on the Second floor.
  • Biographies are arranged alphabetically by the subject's surname. Check the catalogue in case the biography you are after has a Dewey number.
  • If an item is 28 cm or taller, you may need to look for it in the Large books shelves at Central. Other libraries shelve large and normal-sized items together.
  • There are separate Reference collections at every library. Catalogue records say 'Ref' at the beginning of an item's Call number, and 'Not for loan' under the Status. More information about Central collections is available here.

But it isn't there!

  • Check when the item was returned (underneath 'Date' in the item record). Items returned during the past few days may be on Returned Today shelves or on shelving trolleys.
  • Check the size in case it is 28 cm or over, and check if Large Books are shelved separately at your branch.
  • Check display shelves.
  • Ask a staff member for assistance, sometimes a second pair of eyes helps!

Also check out:

  • You might also like to check out our Tutorials page, which has some useful quick start guides for checking your library card and getting started with searching our catalogues.
  • Also check out the section at the bottom of this page with information about what to do if you can't find an item on our shelves.

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