Library of Congress Numbers

The call number, the number placed on the spine of the book, is a code that provides valuable information about the book. SLU Libraries use the Library of Congress system to organize materials throughout the general collection.  The following is a brief explanation of how to use these number.  Please remember, the SLU Libraries Catalog will help you find the call number for each item you want.

 

What are call numbers?


Each book in the library has a unique call number. A call number is like an address in that it tells you where the book is located in the library.

 

Call numbers appear...

...on the spine of the book ...in the Online Catalog
LB
2395
.C65
1991
LB2395 .C65 1991

 

Reading call numbers


SLU Libraries, like many academic libraries in the United States, uses the Library of Congress classification system for call numbers. This system uses a combination of letters and numbers to arrange materials by subject.

 

LB Read the first line in alphabetical order
2395 Read the second line as a whole number
.C65 Read the third line first alphabetically, then as a decimal number
1991 This is the year that the book was published

 

What does the call number mean?


The Library of Congress Classification System arranges materials by subject. The first sections of the call number represent the subject of the book. The letter and decimal section of the call number represent the author's last name. The last section is the year the book was published, but not all books will have this included in the call number.

 

LB
2395
The first two lines describe the subject of the book:
LB2395 = Methods of Study in Higher Education
.C65 The third line typically represents the author's last name: .C65 = Corman
1991 The last line is usually the year the book was published: 1991 = year of publication

 

Putting call numbers in shelf order


This diagram should help you understand how to find your book on the shelf after you have gotten the call number. For locating materials, please consult the Location Guide for Pius Library.

 

L before LA LA before LB 2395 before 2396 .C645 before .C65 1991 before 1992
L
903
C2
LA
11
B53
LA
2899
P87
1989
LB
2395
C65
1991
LB
2395
C65
1991
LB
2396
A771
1987
LB
2395
C645
1993
LB
2395
C65
1991
LB
2395
C65
1991
LB
2395
C65
1992