Call Numbers

Understanding Call Numbers

The call number - the number placed on the spine of the book - is a code which provides valuable information about the book such as where in the collection it is located.


What does the call number mean?

The Library of Congress Classification System arranges materials by subjects. The first section of the call number represents the subject of the book. The letter-and-decimal section of the call number often represents the author’s last name while the last section of a call number is often the date of the material.


                                         Call Numbers can appear :
On the spines of books In the catalog




Read call numbers by line :
Look at the example above
Read the first line in alphabetical order:
A,B,BF,C,D... L, LA, LB, LC, M, ML ...
Read the second line as a whole number:
The third line is a combination of a letter and numbers.
Read the letter alphabetically.
Read the number as a decimal.
Some call numbers have more than one combination letter-number line.
R84 is read as R.84 (notice the decimal
The last line is often the date of publication