Finding a Book on the Shelf Using the Library of Congress Call Number

Library of Congress (LC) classification system, which is used by most academic libraries, classifies items by broad subject category and then by sub categories. Each item is assigned a unique call number based on how an item is classified, which determines where it will be shelved.
On an item label,
the call number is arranged vertically.
In the online catalog,
call numbers are arranged horizontally.
REF
PB
35
.W7
1984
PB35 .W7 1984
available, Emmanuel Reference
Note: Be sure to watch for any special Location given in the online catalog such as Reference (REF) or Leisure. On the item label, it is ABOVE the call number, usually abbreviated. In the online catalog, Location: Emmanuel Main Stacks means the circulating collection.
Example of call number order (these call numbers do not reflect actual books in the collection):

P
106
.B59

PA
4037
.A6

PB
35.2
.W75
1984

PB
35.2
.W75
1999

PB
2114
.K537

PB
2114.353
.M35

PB
2114.4
.D56

As you scan the shelves for a book, read each line of the call number:

REF

Note any special Location

PB

Read the first line in alphabetical order. (e.g., P before PA before PN before R)

35.2

Read the second line as a whole number in numerical order. (e.g., 2114.353 before 2114.4)

.W75

Read the third (and possibly fourth) line:
~ the letters alphabetically. (e.g. .J32 before .K537)
~ the numbers as decimals in numerical order. (e.g., .537 before .54)
HINT: add zero(s) to make numbers of equal length, i.e., .54 is read as .540.

1999

Read any dates chronologically. (e.g., 1984 before 1999)
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: