Home Tutorials How to find a book on the shelf

How to find a book on the shelf

In the library catalog, a book will appear like this: HerdSearch record

The record has the location and the call number. The location tells you where to go in the library and the call number helps you find the book on the shelf. On the shelf, call numbers look like this:

 Books on the shelf

At the end of each shelf is a label to tell you what call numbers are shelved there: Shelf label


How to Read the Call Number:

Read the call number from top to bottom.

Start with the letter(s) at the top. These are in alphabetical order:

A, B, BF, C ... L, LA, LB, LC

The letter(s) are followed by a number. Sometimes these contain a decimal:

1, 2, 3, 45, 100, 100.12, 100.13, 101, 1000, 2430...

Next will be a decimal point followed by a letter and a number. These are in alphabetical order:

A, B, C, D...

Read the number as a decimal:

.B833 = .833 is before .B84 = .84

Some call numbers end with the publication date. Read in chronological order:

1985, 1991, 1992...

If your book is part of a set, its call number will be followed by the volume number.

Last updated: 6/7/2017