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Using Call Numbers

Lakeland Library uses the Library of Congress Classification system to group materials on the library shelves by subject area. Call numbers are like finger prints. No two items in Lakeland's Library have the same call number.

To find something on the shelf, take the following steps:

  1. Locate the item in the Lakeland Library Catalog.

  2. On the Record Screen, the first table displays the author, title and publishing information (citation).

    Author Ambrose, Stephen E
    Title Undaunted courage : Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the opening of the American West / Stephen E. Ambrose
    Publish info New York : Simon & Schuster, 1996

  3. The next set of boxes contains the information needed to find the book on the shelf.
    • Location - "Circulating Collection" means it checks out; "Reference" Collection means it must be used it in the library, but can be photocopied if necessary.
    • Call# - is the number needed to find the book. Write it down!
    • Status - "Available" means it is on shelf; "Due Date" means is it checked out to someone else. Even if the "Due Date" has passed, it has still not been returned.
    F592.7 .A49 AVAILABLE

  4. Call Numbers are always read:
    • Left to Right
    • From A to Z
    • From 0 to 9999

  5. Find the right collection (Circulating or Reference)

  6. On the end of each stack (row of shelves) are signs that indicate the range of call numbers in that row. Locate the correct stack by using the letters that start the call number. In the case above, find the stack with F on the end.

  7. Next, find the number. In the case above, find the 500s, then 592, then 592.7. If you think of call numbers as money you have $592, not $59 and if you find $5927, you've gone too far.

  8. Keep going alphabetically and numerically until you find an item with a number on the spine that matches the one you wrote down.

Call Number Game Now that you know how call numbers work, try this interactive game.

Lakeland Community College Library
440.525.7424 (Circulation) | 440.525.7425 (Reference)