Skip to main content

How to...Find Books: What to Do with the Call Number

Direct comments to aanderson@nvcc.edu

How to Understand a Call Number

Here are some sample call numbers, in order:

QL
362
.P43
2005
 
QL
362
.P5
2002

QL
363
.D22
2000

QP
363
.L2
2006

Read the call number from top to bottom:

QL

First line: read it alphabetically. 

Example:  QL comes BEFORE QP

362

Second line:  read it as a whole number. 

Example:  QL362 comes BEFORE QL363

.P43

Next line:  read the letter alphabetically, then read the number as a decimal. 

Example: QL362 .P43 comes BEFORE QL362 .P5

2005

Last line:  usually a date or a volume number

 

Video: You've Got Your Call Number - Now What?