IRIS 42: Information and Research Instruction Suite for two-year colleges

books in a pileUnderstanding Call Numbers

where's that book?

What would you do if you walked into the library and all the books were piled all over the place?

Just joking. Libraries label and organize stuff so you don't have to spend hours looking for what you need.

If you understand the system a little, you'll be able to find books quicker and easier. If you understand it well, you can let the system lead you to more books on your topic.


After reading about How Books are Organized, you should be able to:

  • identify the two primary classification systems
  • arrange books in call number order
  • identify the purpose of the first line of call numbers

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updated: 25 September, 2009