Answered By: Sarah Giesbrecht
Last Updated: Jan 15, 2018     Views: 15

Once you find a book you want to check out of the library, make note of the call number. Call numbers are a series of numbers and letters that represent the subject of the book and determine the location of the book, acting as the book’s “address” on the library shelf.

Example of library book in the library catalogue. Book is Culture and Health: Culture-Sensitive Training Manual for the Health Care Provider by Majumdar, Basanti. Call number:  RA418.5.T73 M238 1995







Make note of the location of the book. Here the book is in the "Stacks" meaning that the book is located on either the 2nd or 3rd floor of the library. Books are filed alphabetically by call number.

Call numbers beginning with A-K are located on the 2nd floor

Call numbers beginning with L-Z are located on the 3rd floor

This book's call number is RA418.5.T73 M238 1995 meaning it will be located on the 3rd floor.

Once on the appropriate floor, find which bookshelf the book is on by looking at the call number ranges posted on the end of each bookshelf. First start with the letter: RA comes after R and before RB. Then look at the number: RA418.5 is after RA400 and before RA500.

Image of library shelves with focus on RA 407 - RA 449 call number range










Browse the shelf till you start finding books with call numbers that begin with the same code as the book that you are looking for keeping in mind that the books are in alphabetical and numerical order.

After the first letter and number code of the call number, the remain part of the call number reads like decimals: RA418.5.T73 comes before RA418.5.T8 but after RA418.5.T721

This shelf has books with call numbers from RA418.5.P6 D95 to RA422.I5943. Your book should be on this shelf:

Image of shelf with books with call numbers from RA418.5.P6 D95 to RA422.I5943












RA418.5.T73 M238 1995 library book on the shelf.














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