Be aware: Suggested topics below do NOT automatically translate to be the best keywords for your search. Also, databases do NOT work like Google. In order to learn how to search these databases, check out the other pages in this guide.
These databases are good starting places for all topics and subject areas:
What exactly is a call number anyway?
A call number is the unique number given to each book in the library. Call numbers are like addresses, they tell you where a book will be located in the library.
Why should I know how to read one?
If you understand how to read a call number, it will be a lot easier for you to find books in the library.
What does a call number look like?
This library uses LC call numbers (LC stands for Library of Congress), which use a combination of letters and numbers. The same exact call number can be written 2 different ways:
A call number that you find in IUCAT (the online library catalog) will look like this:
CT105 .K55 1981
And that same call number will look like this on the spine of the book:
So, here's how you read a call number on the spine of a book:
CT --Read it alphabetically (A, B, C, CT, D, E, F, G, H, HA, HQ, etc.)
105 --Read it numerically (1, 10, 100, 100.5, 105, 1005.10, etc.)
.K55 --Read alphabetically and then decimally (.A23, .A233, .A33, .B4555, .B50, etc.)
1981 --The final line is a date.
And here is how this book would be placed on the shelf:
So now that I know how to read a call number, how do I use it to find books in the library?