Using call numbers to find books

When you find a book in Library Search, you will see a brief entry with the book’s status, call number, and library location after clicking on the title.

A record for a book that is available to be checked out in Library Search. The record has a heading of "Location Items," followed by the book's building, Knowledge Center. It then says "Available," "Book Stacks," the item's call number, how many copies the library has (1), how many are available (1), and how many requests are on the book (0).

Finding a book on the shelf

The first line in the location record tells you which library the book is at (for example, Knowledge Center).

The next line will tell you whether the book is available to be checked out (Available) or already checked out (Out of library). It will also tell you the location in the library (for example, Book Stacks or MARS), as well as the call number for the book.

The third line will tell you how many copies the library holds, how many copies are available, and how many requests have been placed for the book.

Finally, the record will tell you when a book is a due back if it has been checked out (On loan until MM-DD-YY). There are also a few titles that cannot be checked out, which will show a status of "Not Loanable." These titles are for use in the library only.

If you were looking for A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway, this is how you would find the call number PS 3515.E37 F3 1957:

  1. Start with the letters at the beginning: PS. Use the library floor maps to help you identify which area of a building the book is in.
  2. After you find the PS section in the library, look for the number: 3515
  3. After you find that number, look for the letter and decimal number: .E37
  4. Locate the next letter and decimal number: F3. These numbers function like decimals even though there are no decimal point. For example, F35 will come after F3 but before F4. It functions like F three-point-five even though it looks like it is F thirty-five.
  5. The last number refers to the book’s publication date or copyright year: 1957
  6. Once you are in the section for PS 3515.E37 F3 1957, look at the titles and find the book.

If you can’t find the book, look around at the titles in that area because it could be mis-shelved. If you take a book off the shelf but decide you do not want to check it out, please do not re-shelve it yourself. You can bring it to the Circulation Desk to have it re-shelved.