CONSORT is the shared library catalog of Ohio Wesleyan University, Denison University, College of Wooster, and Kenyon College. Consort contains books, eBooks, journals, and more. For more information about searching Consort, click here.
What is a Call Number?
A call number describes the location of a book, like an address.
The Library uses the Library of Congress system instead of the Dewey system that most public Libraries use. While the number looks different, the LOC number serves the same function. The Call Number describes the location of the book. Books in libraries are organized by subject then by author in that particular subject.
Parts of a Call Number
On an actual book, the number will normally be on the spine and look like this:
BF - General Section - You find the first part of the call number alphabetically. B comes before BF, BF comes before BX
16.8 - Specific Topic - The second part is numeric and should be read as a whole number. The number does not always have a decimal, but when it does, it operates as a part of the number. For example, 16 comes before 16.8 and 16.8 becomes before 16.87 and 17.
S73 - Author Indicator - Once you have found the BF 16.8 section, this number generally indicates the author of the work. First, find all of the S and then read the number like a decimal. For example, S73 comes before T73 and S73 comes before S8.
Some call numbers have a second Alpha and number line, this indicates a specific title if an author has more than one book in the same call number range. You read this the same as the author indicator,
2010 - Year - Indicates the year of publication and is in chronological order.