How to Use Library of Congress Classification

At the Chancellor Paterson Library, books are arranged on the shelves according to their subject. Each item in the Library is given a code which is called a call number . This call number appears on the spine of the book. At The Chancellor Paterson Library the Library of Congress Classification System is used to assign a call number to each book.

How to decode a call number:

  • A call number is read line by line.
    Books are shelved alphabetically (left to right) by the letter or letters in the call number.
DDDDADKHN
232525743508.8650.5
K43L71L71L71B59A8M33
195419671971
  • Single letters come before all double letters. For example, all call numbers beginning with D will come before all numbers with DA, DK, DM, etc.
  • If the letters on the top line are the same, then the books are arranged from the smallest number to the highest number on the second line
  • If the first two lines are the same the third line is first sorted alphabetically by the letters and then by the number
  • If the call number has a date it is shelved in chronological order with the oldest date first.

Please note that Education Library items are classified with the Dewey Decimal System of classification.

When you have found an item in the Library's Online Catalogue note the call number as well as location information. The following is a list and explanation of the most common locations in The Chancellor Paterson Library.

Books This refers to the Main collection of circulating books. If the call number begins with a letter from A to L go to the 3rd Floor,M to Z go to the 4th Floor.
NSRC - 5th Floor Items in this location are located in the Northern Studies Resource Centre on the 5th Floor of The Chancellor Paterson Library. Note the collection name that precedes this location code.
Periodicals Items with this location are located in the Periodicals Collection on the 2nd Floor of The Chancellor Paterson Library.

Created and maintained by the Reference Staff, Lakehead University Library,
Send comments to: riref@lakeheadu.ca