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How can I find a book in the library?

Last Updated: Jun 08, 2016  |  16 Views
Topics: Research

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If you have a specific book you’re looking for but don’t yet have the call number, start by looking in the library catalog. More info on searching the library catalog here.

Once you have the call number, use our floor plans to locate the book in the library.

For example:

To find the book pictured above with call number PN6714 .S85 2014:

  1. Go to our floor plans page to see where books with PN call numbers are located (Copley & Camino Lower Level)

  2. Go to the Copley & Camino Lower Level floor plan then mouse over the P - Z call number range to see that PN books are found in the Camino Wing near the entrance

  3. Go to the lower level of the Camino Wing then look at the signs at the top end of each shelf row to find the PNs

  4. Find the PN6000s within that row

  5. Find the PN6710s and continue on "reading" the call number from left to right

  6. By the time you find the PN6714 .S books, you should be able to locate your book by reading titles of the books on the spines nearby

Quick Guide to Reading Call Numbers

Like most university libraries, Copley uses the Library of Congress Classification System (as opposed to Dewey Decimal, which is common in schools and some public libraries).

You might see call numbers written vertically or horizontally:

or PN6714 .S85 2014


Each part of the call number is read differently:

Read alphabetically      P      before      T
Read as a whole number      68      before      673
Read as a decimal      .S85      before      .S9
Read chronologically      2009      before      2015


Credit: Parts of this FAQ were inspired by and borrowed from this University of Toronto Libraries FAQ

Answered by Teal SmithBookmark and Share

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