Call Numbers are the home address for a book,
they let us know where we can find a specific book in the library.
In the Stewart Library you will see three different types of call numbers, Library of
Congress Call Numbers, Dewey Decimal Call Numbers, and Superintendent of Documents call
Numbers. Lets start out by discussing Library of Congress
Call Numbers. These call numbers are the most common in the library. Library of Congress
Call Numbers were developed by the Library of Congress, and they most commonly used in
Universities and Colleges across the United States.
Here is an example of the a Library of Congress call number that you might find on a book
at the Stewart Library: Using this call number you will be able to
find the book Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece & Rome.
Reference, represents the collection. Generally you will not see reference listed as part
of the call number in the library catalog but you will see it over in the collection
section. This denotes the collection the book is found in.
D Represents World History and E further breaks this collection down to books about the Greco-Roman
World. The 5 further breaks down the topic to let
us know that this is a general book about the History of the Greco-Roman World.
.o95 is a unique identifier for this book. In other words no other book in the collection
will have this same number except for other editions of this book.
2010 represents the year that this book was published.
One of the best things about the Library of Congress Classification System is that it
organizes books by subject. In other words if you are looking for other books about the
General history of the Greco-Roman World they are going to be found right next to this one.
Named after the early 20th century Chicago librarian Melvin Dewey, the Dewey Decimal
System is mainly used in the Curriculum and Young People’s collections here at the Stewart
Library. however, it is the most commonly used classification system in public libraries.
Similar to the Library of Congress Classification System, the Dewey Decimal System also organizes
books by Subject. Here is an example of the Dewey Decimal Call
number for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Let me go over each part of this call number in detail.
YP lets you know that the book is located in the Young People’s collection on the
lower level North End. Similar to the word Reference in the previous example, YP will
not show up in the library catalog but it will appear on the books spine label.
813 Lets those looking for the book know that this book is categorized under Fiction in
English. .R88 Lets us know that the author if this
book is J.K. Rowling. 4h is a unique number used to identify this
specific book. 1998 is the year that the book was published.
The last type of call number you will find in the Stewart Library and Superintendent
of Documents Call Numbers or SuDoc numbers. These numbers are used in the Government document
section of the library. Unlike Dewey Decimal Numbers and Library of Congress Call Numbers
SuDoc numbers don’t organize documents by subject. Instead documents are organized according
to the agency that published them. Here is an example of a SuDoc number:
In most cases the first letter in the SuDoc number is the first letter of the reporting
agency For example in this case the agency is the Department of Commerce.
The next number in this case a 3 represents the sub agency, which in this case is the
census. The next numbers before the semi-colon is
a series designation number. After the semi-colon you have the report number
in this case the report number is p-23, this number is a unique identification number for
that series or report. After the slash you find the individual report number.
Figuring out where a book is at using a call number can be confusing. If you are ever looking
for a book in a library and don’t know where to look, feel free to ask a librarian and
they will be more than happy to point you in the right direction.