Why can't I locate a book that I found in the online catalog? Why isn’t it on the shelf?

QuestionWhy can't I locate a book that I found in the online catalog? Why isn’t it on the shelf?

When you can't find a book after looking it up in the online catalog, one or more of the following reasons might apply:

  1. Someone borrowed it:
    Please use the online catalog (SLIM) to check the book's status and whether it is “AVAILABLE.” Once the book is borrowed, the status will be changed to "On loan until yyyy/mm/dd."
  2. Different location:
    The book might have been placed on a different floor/area of the Main Library, or it might be in a branch library. For example, the 2nd floor of the Main Library is separated into the Hum/Soc Sci Area, the Art Area, and the Compact Stack Room. Please take note of the location as shown in the online catalog and check the layout.
  3. Placed on the wrong shelf:
    Sometimes books might be placed on the wrong shelf or floor. Patrons are asked to put books on book carts located near the shelves, library staff will place them back in their original place. Also, when you look for a book, searching around its original shelf location might be a good idea.
  4. Another patron is currently using the book, or the book has not been placed back on the shelf:
    Materials may be on the reading tables, in the copy rooms, or on one of the carts. Again, we ask all patrons to checkout books before taking them into the Study Rooms, Study Carrels and Discussing Room so as to avoid any inconvenience.
  5. New arrivals might be on display shelves:
    A new arrival might be on display. Please have library staff verify its location.
  6. Missing:
    When unable to find a book, you may seek assistance from library staff. If the book cannot be found, we will continue searching for it for some time. However, if the book still cannot be located, it will be noted as “Missing” in the online catalog. Readers can recommend missing books for re-purchase.
  7. Withdrawal or Removed from the shelf:
    The status of "removed from shelf" or "withdrawal" in the online catalog (SLIM) indicates the book might be damaged or outdated. Therefore, the book may be removed from the shelf or withdrawn from the library and no longer available on the shelf.

If you still can't find a book, please feel free to ask the staff for help. Also, you can apply for "Missing Items Search Service" in the Main Library.

If there is an urgent need for any particular book, patrons are encouraged to prioritize alternative copies in other university libraries or public libraries. You may find copies by using national union catalogs such as MetaCat+ and NBINet and applying for the "Interlibrary Loan Services" (NDDS, Interlibrary Loan Cards, or Tri-Library Loan Service).