University of Central Florida Libraries
7/30/2014
http://library.ucf.edu/
UCF Website University of Central Florida Libraries
Log in now

John C. Hitt Library Hours

Summer Regular Hours
Mon-Thu 7:30 am - 11:00 pm
Friday 7:30 am - 7:00 pm
Saturday 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
Sunday Noon - 11:00 pm
more...
Navigation Header

Understanding Call Numbers

The call numbers in the Main Library use the Library of Congress classification for books in the General Collection, Reference, and Index areas. This system uses a combination of letters and numbers to arrange materials by subjects. Once you are in the proper area of the library, follow these steps:

  1. The first one, two or three letters which begin the call number are arranged alphabetically: H falls before HA, which is before HB, etc.
    HA before HB
  2. The numbers which come directly after these first letters are treated as whole numbers: 10 is followed by 11, not by 101.
    HD
    987
    before HD
    1001
  3. The next letter should be after a decimal point and is arranged alphabetically.
    QE
    352
    B64
    1999
    before QE
    352
    C85
    1999

    But, the tricky part of the 3rd line of the call number is that its numerical component is read as a decimal number. Thus, these examples are in correct call number order:
    QE
    352
    C444
    1999
    before QE
    352
    C64
    1999
    before QE
    352
    C7
    1999
    before QE
    352
    C754
    1999

    This makes sense if you read the numbers as decimals!
    0.444 before 0.64 before 0.7 before 0.754
  4. The final lines of the call numbers may include dates, volume indicators, issue numbers, copy numbers, and other annotations such as supplement or index specifiers. These annotations are read after the call number.

Since Library of Congress Classification arranges materials by subject, once you find the call number you are looking for generally you can find other books on the same topic. So if you want to browse our collection, find a book that interests you and then browse to the left and right on that same shelf.

Not all library materials are classified by Library of Congress. Government documents are arranged by a "superintendant of documents number", current periodicals and newspapers are arranged alphabetically, and the "Browsing Collection" is arranged by author.

If you still can't find the book you need, please ask for help at the Reference Desk.

Ask a Librarian

If you have questions or need additional assistance, Ask a Librarian, call the Reference Department at (407) 823-2562, or e-mail the Department at askalibrarian@mail.ucf.edu.

Last updated August 10, 2011 12:01:35 PM

QR Code URL for Mobile Devices