Thursday, November 10, 2011

Finding Books Using Call Numbers

Using Call Numbers

Have you searched for books in the Millsaps Library Catalog? If you have, then you have seen LC call numbers displayed in your results list.  You may be asking yourself, “what is a LC call number”?  LC is short for Library of Congress, and it is the type of classification system used by most academic libraries.  Call numbers help you locate a book.
Most people are more familiar with the Dewey Decimal classification system, as this is the type of classification used in most public libraries.  The most obvious difference is that Dewey Decimal call numbers begin with numbers, and LC call numbers start with an alphabetic code (letters).

LC vs. Dewey Decimal
Below is an example of how LC and Dewey call numbers differ for the exact same book.  The book used in this example is Conversations with Eudora Welty.
Millsaps-Wilson Library using a LC call number:
    PS 3557.R5355 C57 1993  
Jackson-Hinds Library System using a Dewey Decimal call number:
    813.52 W464YPR

Reading LC Call Numbers
If you would like more information about how to find books in the Millsaps-Wilson Library using call numbers, click on the following link:

Browsing by Subject
Besides finding the particular book you need, the LC classification system is useful for browsing books in a particular subject area.  Similar books are grouped together based on this system.  For instance, you will find books about world history in the D section.  You will find books about the social sciences in the H section.
If you would like to know which codes correlate to which subjects or topics, click on the link below for more information:

Using the Library Map to Find Books
The Library Map helps you find the specific location of the books you need, and it is posted throughout the library.  Click on the link below to view the Library Map:

As always, if you have any questions, ask a librarian!

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