Helpful Hint: How To Find A Book On The Shelf

Helpful Hint

Reading a Call Number

Each book in the library has a unique call number. A call number is like an address: it tells us where the book is located in the library. Call numbers appear on the spine of books, bound periodicals, etc.  Emmanuel College uses the Library of Congress Classification for call numbers. This system uses a combination of letters and numbers to arrange materials by subjects.

 

Read a call number by sections, line-by-line: 

The first line may begin with one, two, or three letters, read alphabetically:

NA   
before
ND  

The second line is made of a number that may have one or more digits. This line is read numerically, as a whole number:

ND 987
before
ND 1001

The third line is the trickiest part of the call number!  The letter is shelved alphabetically, and the number following the letter is treated as if it were preceded by a decimal:

N 3526 .B69 1999
before
N 3526 .C22 1999

Since the numbers of the third line are read as decimal numbers, these examples are in correct call number order:

NB413 .P441 1997
before
NB413 .P68 1997
before
NB413 .P7 1997
before
NB413 .P754 1997

This makes sense if you read the numbers as decimals!

0.441 
before
0.68 
before
0.7 
before
0.754 

The final lines of the call numbers may include dates, volume indicators, issue numbers, copy numbers, and other annotations. These annotations are read after the call number.

 

 

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