In a previous module you learned a little bit about online catalogs and general book searching, but now it is time to learn some more advanced strategies for book searches.
By the end of this module you will be able to
Locating a Book by Call Number
As the video explains above, a search for items in SLEUTH will provide you with some basic information about the book, its author, publication date, a call number (or a link if it's an e-book), how many copies are owned, and the book's status or availability (not checked out, checked out, lost, on order, etc.). So how do you use this info to get the actual book?
In locating materials in the library, it is important to understand how these items are organized and shelved. Southworth Library Learning Commons uses the Library of Congress Classification system to organize materials. In general, books in the library are shelved by SUBJECT. What this means is that once you identify one book of interest for your topic, you should be able to locate other books related to your topic on the shelves next to it (we will visit this information in more depth when we discuss Lateral Searching). Books in most libraries are shelved by their CALL NUMBERS.
If your book's call number does not have a prefix (such as REF or JUV), the book will be shelved in alphanumeric order (letters first, then numbers, then a letter, then a decimal number, etc.) on the second floor in the general stacks. A call number is basically the "address" of where you will find a book in the library.
Let's take a closer look at what each line of the call number represents:
E457.2M475 1991 <<< This is the book we want to find!
E The letter represents the subject area (E represents 'History of the Americas'), so find the stack in the
library that contains the E section.
457.2 The numbers following the subject area letter refer to a specific subject. (457.2 represents 'Civil War
M475 The third line typically refers to the author's last name. (M = McPherson)
1991 The last line refers to the date the book was published (1991)
If your book has a prefix, the book will be shelved in alphanumeric order within the collection indicated by the prefix:
If you ever have trouble locating a book by call number, just ask at the reference desk on the second floor.