“Where is your fiction collection?” This is a common question at the University Library for which there isn’t really a simple answer. Like most academic libraries, the U of L Library doesn’t have a separate fiction section – but that doesn’t mean we don’t have any.
Most of our fiction supports the literature classes taught at the University, but we also purchase some award-winning bestsellers. As with all the books in our collection, each novel is assigned a call number that groups fiction on the shelf by the nationality and time period of the author. The novels are shelved next to the literary criticism they inspired.
The most efficient way to search for a novel is by the author’s name or the title of the book. In fact, this is the only way to find many of the novels in the University Library catalogue. If you don’t have a specific book in mind, try searching for subject headings such as “Canadian fiction” or “English fiction – 20th Century”. These headings should give you an idea of the call number ranges. Once you have a call number range, you can use it to browse the shelves to discover the wide range of classic and recent fiction available.
Another place to find fiction is in the Curriculum Lab on level 11 of the Library. The lab has a large collection representing the most outstanding children’s and young adult books published each year. The Wigham Family Collection, named after the donor family, is shelved separately from the non-fiction and comes equipped with comfortable chairs and a fabulous view. The Curriculum Lab also has a collection of “high interest, low vocabulary” Penguin Readers that are perfect for people who are new to the English language.
The catalogue records for fiction found in the Curriculum Lab are generally more descriptive, which makes it easier for users to find “science fiction” or “detective and mystery stories”. The Curriculum Lab also offers reference books that help you find fiction by subject, author or genre.
The German satirical writer Georg Christoph Lichtenberg wrote, “Reading is borrowing.” When you need to borrow a novel for class or for your personal reading pleasure, start your search at the University Library or the Curriculum Lab.
Want more information? Ask at the Information & Research Assistance Desk.