Answered by: Library - Search
Last Updated: Jan 11, 2023     Views: 4155

Every book in the library has a number on its spine describing where it is. This is the "call number".

Here is an example: 523.105 12 A

A call number can be broken down into the following parts:

The first part of the call number that appears before the decimal point ("523") represents a general topic area. Find this number on the library shelf first. If you are in Fisher library such as multi-level building, you can check the library map before heading to different level to find the book. You can see the call number 523 is located on level 6 from the map.

The second part of the call number that appears after the decimal point ("105") represents the subtopic. Each digit in this number is read separately. Find the first number, then move onto the second number, and so on.

A space appears next to separate the next number.

The next number ("12", called the Shelf list or running number) tells you where the item is shelved within 523.105. In this example, this book is the 12th item in this section.

If you see a letter after the shelf list number such as "A" from the example, this tells you the edition of the item and is sorted alphabetically. So, “A” comes first. This collocation arrangement for different edition is not a current treatment, all newly added items have separate Shelf list or running number. For example, "Understanding company law" by Lipton, P. has been collocated til 7th edition and its call number is 346.94066 45 Q but from 8th edition the call number is 346.94066 330 instead of 346.94066 45 R and 9th edition is 346.94066 347.

Please check out the Find that Book support page to find out more.

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