Thursday, February 23, 2012

How do I find a book in the Library?

This question is asked of us at least once a day so I thought it would be a good blog topic.

The really short answer is look up the book in the on-line catalog and write down the call number. But that leads to the next question. What is the call number? That really seems to be the main question that needs to be answered.

TCTC uses the Library of Congress (click link to see actual categories) system. This system of shelving is made up of the alphabet and numbers usually in 3 sections.

1. Call numbers can begin with one, two, or three letters.
2. Numbers come after the letters.
3. Cutter Number which is is a coded representation of the author or organization's name or the title of the work (also known as the "Main Entry" in library-lingo). This number system is named after Charles Ammi Cutter who developed the two-number table.

If you know that A comes before B, C, D, etc. then you should be able to find the book on the shelf. Once you get to the specific area, read the number like you would any number (1 is before 111 and before 231).

We have a video that gives more detail at

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