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How to Read a Call Number

Any item physically located in the library has a unique call number, also known as a spine label, which helps you identify items on the shelves.

Watch this short video to learn the basics.

Now look at this sample record found in IUCAT, the library catalog. Note the call number and the location (circled in red).

Call Number in IUCAT

You have a location and a call number...now what?

Identify, according to the list below, on which floor a particular "Location" may be found.

First Floor

Second Floor

Atlas Case

Archives

Bestsellers

Bound

CD or CR-ROMs

Children's Literature

DVDs

Current Periodicals

Government Publications

Newspapers

Government Documents CD or CD-ROM

Rare Books

Government Documents DVD

Stacks

Government Document Microfiche

Indexes

Map Case

Microfilm/Microfiche

Reference

Media Kits

Videos

After finding the location within the library, the call number ranges posted on the shelving end caps will help you find the call number. The example call number above will be found on the second floor in the STACKS location. The call number range of the shelving end caps will show a call number range of PS3507 – PS3515 .T.

Interested in browsing the shelves? Click here for a detailed list of Library of Congress classification assignments (i.e. broad subject areas).

Last Updated: 15 May 2017

Last updated: 05/18/2017