Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

Special Collections

Westcountry Studies These items are held at the Devon Archives and Local Studies Service, Devon Heritage Centre
Railway Studies Library

This is part of Newton Abbot Library. Scroll down for the opening hours – they aren’t the same as the main library. It’s reference only, so you can’t borrow anything, but you can look at items there.


This is Devon County Council’s Information Centre at County Hall. Material can be viewed there by arrangement (phone 01392 383444) and may occasionally be borrowed.

Stack or Ref Stack (Barnstaple, Exeter, HQ)

A stack is a non-public part of a library where lesser-used material is stored. Much of it can be borrowed on request, but not all. The Barnstaple and Barnstaple Ref Stacks are in Barnstaple Library, and the Exeter and HQ stacks are in Exeter Library.

Pool Stock (HQ, Spec Serv, Children’s, Young People)

Pools are collections of stock held temporarily or permanently at Library Headquarters or elsewhere. Most items can be borrowed on request.

Special Services Lib HQ

This is a collection of books, tapes and CDs which are used to supply residential/nursing homes or sheltered accommodation. The material can be used to satisfy requests, but may not become available for some time.

North Doms

This is stock used to support work with people with special needs. Most of it can be borrowed on request, but it may not be immediately available.

Channings Wood Prison

Dartmoor Prison

Exeter Prison

Not open to the general public, but books (not other materials) may be requested.

North Bibs

HQ Acquisition

HQ Catalogue

HQ New Media Collection

HQ Central Delivery

HQ Children’s

Special Services Acquisitions

These are holding locations for material that is currently being processed. Most of it will eventually become available for loan or for reference use.

Systems Manager

DS Test Branch

Items located here are used for training and testing purposes, and may not be what they seem! They are not available for loan.

Staff Library

This is a collection of material to do with libraries. Items may be borrowed on request or made available for reference use in a library. The collection is currently being disbanded and the material located elsewhere (eg in the stacks).

HQ Subject Spec

Subject Spec – Bicton

These are collections of material in specialist subject areas belonging to Devon Libraries. Items may be borrowed on request.
Devon Circstock

These are books which have been removed from a library and sent to our bibliographical section where a decision will be taken on whether to withdraw them from stock or to reallocate them to another library. The catalogue record is not deleted unless and until a decision has been taken not to retain the book, but a Circstock book is effectively in limbo, so cannot be reserved online.

If you want to obtain a copy of a book listed as "circulating stock", you can request it in person at your local library. If it is still in print, we may decide to purchase a copy, or if not, it may be possible to borrow a copy from elsewhere.

North Devon College

North Devon District Hospital

These collections no longer contain much Devon Libraries stock, and any remaining titles located there are unlikely to be available for loan.
Request Team This is a temporary holding location for material being supplied to satisfy requests in libraries that are not on the computer system.
Library HQ These are books which are working tools for staff at Library Headquarters, and cannot be reserved.
NEW (+ library name) These are collections of books being put together for new or refurbished libraries. They are in storage and cannot be reserved.

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