How to Locate a Book on the Shelf

book shelfTo find an item in the library, in addition to knowing the location and availability, you need to know its call number.

Each item in the ORU Library has its own unique call number that is 1) on a label that is usually taped on the spine of the book or other item and 2) listed in the library catalog record.

After you find an item in the library catalog, record the call number, go to the location in the library, and locate the item on the shelf.

For example, if you use the opens new window Library Catalog and key in Revell Dictionary, results include the call number, location, status, and item details.

How to Read a Call Number

Call numbers are read one row at a time. Each row of the call number helps identify the book or item.
Example: opens new windowThe Revell Bible Dictionary, call number BS440.R484 1990

book spine
BS Class Number—Read alphabetically.
B (major category) = Philosophy, Psychology, Religion, Theology;
S = Bible
440 Subdivision (Numbers that further define the book's subject.)
Read as a whole number or a mixed decimal. 440 = Bible Dictionaries
.R484 Cutter number —Read digit by digit as a decimal fraction.
Other designation — Volume, part, or copy numbers; Publication date
There may be a location code if the book is located somewhere in the library other than in the main circulating collection.
Example, LRC-R = Reference

How Call Numbers are Arranged on the Shelves

The chart below provides examples of how books and other library materials are arranged alphabetically and numerically, from left to right on the shelves, according to the Library of Congress call number.

Top line - Items are arranged alphabetically by letters on the first call number line.
2nd line - Then, the second line is arranged in number order.
3rd line - The third line is a letter and decimal number line, arranged alphabetically by the letter then the decimal number

call numbers

Call Number Ranges for Each Library Floor

  • A-BX call numbers are on the 1st floor
  • C-Z call numbers are on the 2nd floor

Note: Items in special collections will be located in the special collection.