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Library 101

Get to the know the library

Library of Congress Classification System & Understanding Call Numbers


How do I Read a Call Number?

In addition to the location, you will need to know the book's call number, which will lead you to where the book sits on the shelf. The Library's collection is arranged by Library of Congress Classification and the call number will be a combination of letters and numbers.

In the JETfind, this book appears as: Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

The location and call number is listed as the Circulating Collection: PN6747.S245 P4713 2003

Persepolis record in JETfind

Read call numbers left to right grouping letters and numbers together or, on a book's spine label, line by line.

Looking at PN6747.S245 P4713 2003

  1. Read the first line or letters in alphabetical order - PN
  2. Next the whole number before the period - 6747
  3. Then the combination of letters and numbers following the period - S246
  4. If there is a second combination of letters and numbers following the period, read that together - P4713
  5. The last four-digit number is the year of publication - 2003

To find this book on the shelf:

  1. Look for P then PN, this is in alphabetical order
  2. In PN look for 6747, that's six thousand seven hundred and forty seven, it will not be in the same location as six hundred and seventy four
  3. Then look for S and its number group
  4. Then P and its number group
  5. Lastly, the year of publication, 2003

The image below offers a different example, using the spine label set up and the call number LB2395.C65 1991


read a call number image

 

If you can't find a book where you think it should be, ask a librarian for help.

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