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Browsing the Library Collection

The Library’s book collections are organized according to the Library of Congress classification system. This classification system is a series of letters and numbers used to locate materials on the library's shelves. Each book has a unique call number (created by combining the subject classification with a “Cutter” number based on the book’s author and/or title and date of publication). These numbers are found in the online catalog below the title in the Search Results list and in the Labeled Display screen for a specific title, and appear as call numbers on the spine label of each book or media album.

The main collection in the Library is the Circulating Collection. This book collection starts in the tall stacks where the books in the A through H call numbers are located. Books in the J through Z call numbers are shelved on the low stacks, starting in the back of the Library with the J's, and ending with the Z's by the Reference Desk.  There is also the New Books area, located by the entry doors of the Library, where all newly added books are shelved for their first month in the Library. Reference materials are found in the Reference Collection, located near the Reference Desk. Reference works are defined as those which are meant to be consulted or referred to for some definite piece of information. They are characterized by being seldom, if ever, read in their entirety and are non-narrative in structure. Works selected for the Reference Collection are those for which there is expected to be a reasonable demand for use by library patrons and reference librarians. In general, they provide background information, definitions, statistical and factual information.

Locating a Book in the Library:
What a Call Number Means

All books and media materials in the Library are arranged on the shelves according to the Library of Congress Classification system.

A classification system is a method of arranging materials by different subject categories and assigning unique codes to each one so that they can be located on a library's shelves. The call number is the combination of numbers and letters located on the spine of each book. These numbers correspond to those in the results lists and labeled displays found in the Library Catalog.

Search the Library Catalog for a Book

If you need to find a book on Windows 7, you would type the search term "Windows 7" in the search box in the Library Catalog. Your search results will display in order of Relevance, and can be displayed in a list or a flow format.

Below is the results display for the book "Windows 7 inside out":

Search Results display

Clicking on the title in the results list will open the title's details display. The detailed display displays more information about the book, including: Title, Author, Published, Description, Notes, Summary, Subjects, Series, ISBN, Alternate Titles, Additional Authors, and links to Electronic Resources.  

Author, Subjects, and Series provide links to other titles.  

See the images below for the Detailed Display for the book "Windows 7 inside out":

Detailed Results display

Find the Book on the Shelf

To find the book on the shelf, you need the call number.

In the Results Display, books are either Available, Not Available, or Downloadable (for electronic resources and ebooks). If the book is Available the call number will be listed after: Find on shelf: Low Stacks - QA76.76.O63 B68 2010.

 The Details Display will always display the call number of the book. This is listed near the top of the screen: Find on shelf at NE Tech, Collection: Low Stacks, Shelf Location: QA76.76.O63 B68 2010, Status: Checked In.

You need to copy the entire call number, and note the collection, in order to find the book on the shelf in the LIbrary. The collection will guide you to the specific location in the Library and the call number to the specific shelf. 

The call number below appears as it would on the spine label of the book. Each line of the call number has a meaning. In the case of Windows 7 inside out, this is what each set of numbers and letters mean:

QA ----------- Mathematics: Computer Science
76.76 -------- Special Topics
.O63 --------- Operating Systems
B68 ---------- First Author
(for books with no author or more than 3 named authors, it would be a code based on the first word of the title.)
2010 --------- Year Published

Special Collections

Special collections within the Library include a designation located above the call number. These are: REF. (reference books) and MEDIA (DVDs, DVD-ROMs, CDs, CD-ROMs, and videocassettes). Reference books (shelved in the Reference Collection) and all media programs (shelved in the Media Area) can only be used in the Library. The Reserve Collection are shelved behind the Circulation Desk. They can be checked out, but must be used in the Library.