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Locating books

How are books arranged on the shelves in the library?

Books, journals and other items are arranged by call number A-Z, using the Library of Congress Classification System.  It is as an alphanumeric system for shelf arrangement by subject.  The call number is a unique identifier that will help you to locate catalogued items in the library.

How to read a call number

call numbers breakdown

Understanding a Library of Congress Call Number

 QA 377 .A83 2000 

  • For the call number above ( QA 377 .A83 2000 ), Q identifies the category for Science, and QA identifies the subclass of Mathematics
  • The letter in the last portion of the call number, .A83, identifies the author, Asmar,  For journals or edited works the letter identifies the title rather than the author. 
  • There may be two series of these numbers, followed by publication year, volume number or copy number.

Library of Congress Classification System: A-Z

Find out more about the Library of Congress Classification System.