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Call Numbers  

Last Updated: Mar 12, 2013 URL: http://libguides.weber.edu/CallNumbers Print Guide RSS Updates
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Understanding Call Numbers

A call number is the address of a book on the shelf. Use the library online catalog to find the call number (location) of any item in the library. The call number is listed at the bottom of the catalog record; it is also found on a label attached to the spine of the book (or elsewhere on the item). In our library, we use three kinds of call numbers: Library of Congress, Dewey Decimal and Superintendent of Documents.

 

Library of Congress Call Numbers

Library of Congress call numbers use the Library of Congress Classification system to arrange books and other items by subject.  This means that when you find the book you are looking for, other books on the same subject will be close by.

In our library, Library of Congress call numbers are used for materials in the following collections:

  • General Collection:  Circulating books and bound periodicals, shelved on the Top Level.
  • Reference:  Non-circulating reference books, shelved on the Middle Level, North End.  
  • Current Periodicals:  Non-circulating current issues of magazines and journals, shelved on the Middle Level, South End.
  • Media:  Videos, compact discs, etc., shelved on the Lower Level.
  • Archives:  Non-circulating archival materials, located on the Lower Level, South End.

     

    For example, the call number (location) for the reference book set called The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece & Rome is:

     

    Reference

    DE

    5

    .O95

    2010

    • Reference tells you that the book is located in the Reference Collection.
    • DE identifies this book as being a History book about the Greco-Roman world
    • 5 further breaks the category of this book  down and lets us know that this book is about antiquities, civilization, culture & ethnography
    • .O95 is added to provide a unique number for this title.
    • 2010 Informs us of the year the book was published

     

    To find this book:

    Go to the Reference collection on the middle level of the library.

      •  Find the section where the call numbers on the book spines start with DE.
      • Find DE 5 (it will be after DD 290 and before DE 25).
      • Lastly, look alphabetically for the O then numerically for the 95 after the DE 5. 
 

Dewey Decimal Call Numbers

Dewey Decimal call numbers use the Dewey Decimal Classification system to arrange books and other items by subject.  This means that when you find the book you are looking for, other books on the same subject will be close by.

In our library,  Dewey Decimal call numbers are used for materials in the following collections:

  • Young People:  Circulating books for young people, shelved on the Lower Level, North End.
  • Curriculum:  Circulating curriculum related materials, shelved on the Lower Level, North End.
  • Special Collections:  Non-circulating books and other materials, located on the Top Level, South End.
  • Archives:  Non-circulating archival materials, located on the Lower Level, South End.

For example, the call number (location) for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is:

 

YP
813
.R88
4h
1998
  • YP tells you that the book is located in the Young People collection, Lower Level, North End.
  • 813 identifies that this book belongs to the category of fiction in English.  This number is based on the Dewey Decimal Classification system.
  • .R88 is a number based on the last name of the author, J. K. Rowling.
  • 4h is added to create a unique number for this title.
  • 1998 is the year the book was published. 
  • To find this book:
    • Go to the Young Peoples collection.
    • Find the section where the call numbers on the book spine starts with 813.
    • Find .R88 (after .R10, .R70, .R80).
    • Lastly, find the book with 4h and 1998 after the .R88.
 

Superintendent of Documents Call Numbers

Materials in the Government Documents collection (Middle Level, North End) are arranged by government agency using the Superintendent of Documents Classification system.  The basis of this system is to group together Government Publications by author, author meaning the department, commission, or agency that issued the publication. It is an alphanumeric system.

Therefore, information produced by the Department of Agriculture is found in the A's, Health and Human Services Department in HE and Congressional hearings will be found in the Y4s.

Here is an example of a SuDoc number:

 

The class number, before the colon, denotes the agency (Dept. of Commerce), subagency (3=Census), and the series (186). The report number indicates a unique publication within the series, and may consist of numbers or letters and numbers with punctuation. Punctuation includes colons, periods, slashes and dashes, all of which separate segments of the call number.  A more thorough introduction to SuDocs numbers can be found in  An Explanation of the Superintendent of Documents Classification System.

 

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