Using the OPAC - Library Catalogue

To find a book, you can search the Online Public Acces Catalogue OPAC on the computers in the reading area. You can also access the catalogue from your computer at home by going to and choosing Mathaf Catalogue.

To find books on your topic of interest, select Keyword, and enter your your search terms in the field below. The Search Index should be words or a phrase to get the most results. 

Alternatively, if you know the exact title of the book you are looking fr, you can select Exact and set the Search index to Title, then enter the title of the book in the search field.

Search Results

When you find the book that is of interest to you, click on the title to get more information. If you would like to read the book, write down the entire'call number, then locate it on the shelf in the public reading area.

We use the Library of Congress classification system. This determines how books are organised on the shelf and categorises them by subject. When you open a cataloge record, you will find the location of the book as well as a Call Number.

Call Numbers will also be found on the spine of the book. Here they are read line by line, from top to bottom.

  • The first letter is the subject of the book
  • The number on the next line narrows the subject area
  • The letter and number after the decimal point (called a cutter) represents the author's last name or the title of the book.
  • The final line is the book's year of publication


Books are arranged alphabetically, and from the lowest number to the highest.

Start at the top left hand corner of the shelf, reading call numbers from left to right. Continue to the next shelf below. After the bottom shelf, continue to the top left corner of the next shelf.