Approximately 200,000 of the books acquired during the last 30 years are shelved in the open stacks area. You can retrieve these yourself and take them to the circulation desk to have them checked out.
In the open stacks books are not shelved by classification. Therefore, the open stacks are not useful when you intend to browse literature by subject area. You will want to go to the open stacks when you have found a book listed in the catalog and want to retrieve that book yourself; you will find it according to its shelf number as specified in the catalog.