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Home :: Library :: Using Call Numbers

Finding Books Using Call Numbers

To find the book you want in this Library, you need to know the book's CALL NUMBER. Call numbers can be found in the library catalog. Every book has a label on the spine with this special number. It usually looks like this:

R the first two lines tell you about the subject of the book
733  
W44 this is usually the first letter of the author's last name
1996 this tells you the date of the book was published

 

Step #1: Write Down That Call Number

Then look at the first letter (or letters) Write down the call number of your book. Read the first letter of your book's call number, then read the second letter, if there is one. In the example above, you first want to find out where "R" section is downstairs on the shelf. When you go downstairs, the letters A-JC are to your right. Letters JC-QK are to your left. The letters QL-Z and oversize books (OV) are on the shelves right in front of you. For example,

R comes before RA which comes before RM
16 7 23
C89 W56 E9

Step #2: Read the Number Below It

Next, look at the number below this letter. In the first example, that would be "733". On the shelves books are first put in order by letter, then are in number order (R1, R2, R3, .... R100 .... R733, for example).

R comes before R
733 2000
W56 P43

 

Step #3: Read the Last Part as a Decimal

Now read the last part of the call number. Here, the arrangement is also alphabetical but the number is read as a decimal (.62 and .7).

RA comes before RA
121 121
C62 C7

 

The last four digits is the publication year, so you note quickly how old or recent the book is!