Non Fiction Subject Areas


At Waitaki District Libraries we have put all our non fiction books and other resources into subject areas. These subject areas are based on the subject material that they house and are clearly sign posted on the shelves at the Ōamaru Public Library as well as labelled with a subject area sticker on each book or resource (e.g. magazine or DVD) for the collections at Ōamaru and our other libraries. 

All of our non fiction can be found by using our online catalogue which is also searchable from our website (try searching our catalogue above).

Once you've found the book or resource you want, you will be shown which area it belongs to (see red arrows in the example, below):


If you're at the Ōamaru Public Library, look for the sign above the area collection: e.g. Arts & Craft or Transport, etc. 

The resource can be found in Dewey order - a number sequence like 746.432 and then the first 3 letters of the author(s)' surname, within it's subject area. 


Take a look at all of our subject areas below.  At Ōamaru Public Library you can easily browse in any of the following subject areas listed below.  At our other librarys, just look for the subject area label on the spine of the book or resource.  Happy browsing!

  • FOOD & DRINK – recipe books, cake decorating, chef auto/biographies, etiquette, cocktails, brewing, wine-making.
  • LIFESTYLE – Beauty, hair, makeup, personal fashion style, weddings, body adornment, Goth, Steampunk, festivities and celebrations.
  • ARTS & CRAFT – fine arts, painting, design, illustration, crafts, artisans, sewing, fashion design, textiles, antiques and collectibles, photography, source books for artists and designers, including fashion design, biographies of artists, crafters and designers.
  • MUSIC & PERFORMING ARTS – drama, music, film, dance, entertainment, biographies of musicians and performing artists.
  • SPORTS, HOBBIES & LEISURE – hunting & fishing, team sports, individual sports, coaching, camping, survival skills, tramping, walking guides, puzzle books, stamp collecting, board games and cards, illusions, codes and cyphers.
  • HOUSE & GARDEN – gardening and garden plants, DIY, interior design, landscaping and area planning, self-sufficiency, small-scale farming.NB. Botany is in the Science & Technology living room.
  • WORLD HISTORY- all aspects of world history, including military.
  • NZ & PACIFIC (History) – all aspects of New Zealand and Pacific history, including tangata whenua, and military history.
  • LOCAL HISTORY – all aspects of local history, including tangata whenua.
  • BUSINESS & ECONOMICS –jobs and job hunting, CVs, resumes, careers, finance, economics, mentoring, online business, business guides, etc.
  • COUNTRIES & TRAVEL – travel, exploration, foreign languages, countries, maps, geographical guides, and descriptive travel guides, atlases.
  • LITERACY – learning English, learning Te Reo, IELTS, adult readers, Te Reo readers, foreign language readers, dictionaries (including Te Reo), thesaurus, etc.
  • SOCIETY – education, anthropology, relationship units (e.g. families), politics, political science, human rights, civil rights, law, crime, jail, media, journalism, immigration, refugees, community services (e.g. firefighters, police), monarchy (including Māori Kīngitanga), social media, cultural functions (e.g. funerals, etiquette, protocol, etc.). PARENTING – all aspects of parenting; as well as baby name books.
  • HEALTH & WELLBEING - psychology, medicine, medical, specific ailments and diseases, hospitals, diet & nutrition, food allergies, recipes and cookbooks for specific ailments, practical self-help, medical ethics, new age medicine and practices, acupuncture, massage, crystal healing, reiki, etc.
  • BELIEFS & PHILOSOPHY – personal philosophies, general philosophy, history of philosophy, religion, religious script (e.g. Old & New Testaments, Koran, etc.,), occult, new age thinking, dreams, crystals, astrology, supernatural, UFOs, mysteries, conspiracy theories.
  • AUTO/BIOGRAPHIES – general biographies and auto-biographies.
  • ANIMALS & PETS – All animals and pets, wild and domestic, farm animals, insects, dinosaurs, reptiles, fish, birds, etc.
  • TRANSPORT – vehicle licensing, trains, planes & automobiles, farm transport and vehicles (e.g. tractors), mechanical guides, restoration of vehicles (e.g. car restoration), history of transportation, transport disasters, military transport (e.g. tanks).
  • SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY – environment, climate, math, physics, chemistry, engineering, computers, robots, recycling, biology, meteorology, geology, natural disasters, engineering disasters, etc.
  • LITERATURE – essays and criticisms, writing guides, poetry, short stories, accounts, quotations, humour, wit.
  • BOOKS ON PRESCRIPTION – originally mental health books prescribed by doctors but now covering all aspects of health as supported by Well South, Primary Health Network.