Answered By: Reference and Research Desk
Last Updated: Nov 10, 2014     Views: 52

Think of the call number as you would a street address, and track it down one element at a time. If visiting a friend's new apartment, you would first find the street, then look for the correct building number, and then the apartment number. Call numbers can be tracked in the same way.

For example, to find a book with the call number PR 571 F79 1990, you would look for the first element, PR, alphabetically within the collection. Within the PR section, follow numerically for the second part, 571. Within the PR 571 section, follow first alphabetically to get to F then numerically to get to 79 for the third F79 until you find the exact spot where the book is shelved.

Please note: the third element of the call number is read as a decimal. So a book with the call number PR 571 F79 would come before PR 571 F8 because .79 is a smaller number than .8.

If you are still unsure, stop by the Research Help desk in the library. We are happy to walk you through it.