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Van Pelt Circulation Desk Student Manual

Call Numbers

Call Numbers

At the Van Pelt Library, we use three different systems to organize our materials:

  • The Library of Congress call number system, which is a combination of letters and numbers and always starts with a letter, is assigned to most books.
  • The Dewey Decimal System, which is also a combination of letters and numbers and always starts with a number, is assigned to some older books (these will be shelved before the LC numbers begin in the stacks)
  • An accession number system, which is assigned to most Videos.

Here are the basic principles for organizing LC call numbers: 

  • First:  Alphabetize the letters of the Top Line.
  • Second:  If the top letters are the same, arrange the numbers in the second line numerically
  • Third:  If the Top two lines are the same, arrange the letters on the third line alphabetically
  •  Fourth:  If the letters on the second line are identical as well as the top two lines, arrange the numbers on the third line in numerical order (Note:  the numerals on the third line are always to be treated as decimals.)

If the top three lines are the same, note that some fourth lines contain dates, others are composed of a combination of numerals and letters like the third line.

o   The dates distinguish different editions of the same title.  Call numbers containing dates on the fourth line are shelved after volumes with the same information on lines one, two and three but no date on the fourth line. 

o   Call numbers with dates on the fourth line are followed by call numbers with letters and numbers on this line.  These should be arranged according to the alphabetical/numeral decimal pattern of the third line.

o   The last line on an LC call number is volume number.  It will be denoted by either V., Vol. most of the time.

The accession number system is easy.  First, you put the top numbers in order and then you focus on the bottom numbers.  Please do not reshelve videos.  Please put them between the book ends on top of the video filing cabinet.

 

HOW TO READ CALL NUMBERS

All books and journals are assigned call numbers.  Use them to locate items on the shelves.

A call number in Franklin looks like:                       A call number on the spine/front of a book looks like:

PN127.P64 B56 2003                                                                                           

PN

127

P64

B56

2003

 

TO FIND CALL NUMBERS ON THE SHELVES…

READ EACH PART…

P

P

P

PN

PN

PN

PS

Alphabetically

89

89

89

127

127

127

41

Numerically, as a whole number

 

 

 

.5

.502

.6

 

Numerically, as a decimal

.A59

.A6

.A6

.A7

.A3

.B26

.G3

Alphabetically and then Numerically, as a decimal

F7

 

A3

 

T77

 

 

Alphabetically and then numerically, as a decimal

 

1958

1946

1999

1984

 

 

Chronologically, as a year


 

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