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Understanding Call Numbers: Reading Call Numbers

Find books on the shelves more quickly with this quick overview of how to read Library of Congress call numbers.

How do you read call numbers?

Read call numbers line by line

What is the purpose of call numbers?

Each book in the library has a unique call number. A call number is like an address: it tells us where the book is located in the library.

Call numbers appear ... on the spines of books ... and ... in the online catalog

Note that the same call number can be written from top-to-bottom, or left-to-right.

Milner Library uses Library of Congress Classification for call numbers. This system uses a combination of letters and numbers to arrange materials by subjects.

In the Catalog, you can also find location of an item and its availability. For maps showing the path to the different locations, look at the Find an Item in the Library tab.