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Libraries Sometimes Makes Sense: LC Call Numbers
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Libraries Sometimes Makes Sense: LC Call Numbers

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What do those little numbers on the side of our library books mean? What's a call number? Why do we use them? Check out this powerpoint on Library of Congress Call numbers to find out.

What do those little numbers on the side of our library books mean? What's a call number? Why do we use them? Check out this powerpoint on Library of Congress Call numbers to find out.

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  • 1. Call Numbers (or those numbers on the spine of every library book that seem like they mean absolutely nothing actually mean something.) PR6068 .O9 H374 1999 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets By JK Rowling
  • 2. Call Numbers: They mean something to somebody
    • A typical call number:
    PR 6068 .O9 H374 1999 Beginning letters describe the general subject area (so, in this case, English Literature) The “numbers line” narrows the subject down (written between 1961-2000) Further narrows subject area or sometimes it specifies the author Year published
  • 3. Confused?
    • Think of a call number like an address, but backwards:
    City Street Home address Province The University of Calgary’s address is in parenthesis. So, really broad (subject) to really exact (the book you’re looking for). Make sense? See, we have reasons for doing what we do. And you thought we just did things to torture you. Really, torturing you is only part of the reason. (2500) Zip Code (AB) (Calgary) (T2N 1N4) (University Drive NW) PR 6068 .O9 H374 1999
  • 4. Every Subject Known to Man Librarians like to classify things. We think classification makes things easier, which may or may not be your opinion. That’s too bad. We’re in charge. So, there are many many many many subjects and many many many many call numbers. Luckily, anyone who uses the Library of Congress (LC) cataloging system can find pretty much the same book in any other library that use LC cataloging using the same call number. The next page has a snippet of the broadest A-Z subject headings
  • 5. A -- GENERAL WORKS B -- PHILOSOPHY. PSYCHOLOGY. RELIGION C -- AUXILIARY SCIENCES OF HISTORY D -- WORLD HISTORY AND HISTORY OF EUROPE, ASIA, AFRICA, AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND, ETC. E -- HISTORY OF THE AMERICAS F -- HISTORY OF THE AMERICAS G -- GEOGRAPHY. ANTHROPOLOGY. RECREATION H -- SOCIAL SCIENCES J -- POLITICAL SCIENCE K -- LAW L -- EDUCATION M -- MUSIC AND BOOKS ON MUSIC N -- FINE ARTS P -- LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE Q -- SCIENCE R -- MEDICINE S -- AGRICULTURE T -- TECHNOLOGY U -- MILITARY SCIENCE V -- NAVAL SCIENCE Z -- BIBLIOGRAPHY. LIBRARY SCIENCE. INFORMATION RESOURCES (GENERAL)
  • 6. For More Information
    • If you are curious about all of the subjects, you can visit:
    • http://www.loc.gov/catdir/cpso/lcco/
    • And have fun with that.
  • 7. Other Classifications
    • The next most popular classification system is the Dewey Decimal System. Actually, it’s the world’s most widely used classification system so therefore it’s the most popular.
    • Public and school libraries use this in North America, as do a lot of other countries in their libraries.
    • Books in the University’s Doucette Library of Teaching Resources uses the Dewey Decimal system.
  • 8. Dewey: A lot like LC but not
    • A Typical Dewey Number:
    8   Literature 2   English literatures 3   English fiction .    9   1900     1    20th century     4    after 1945 R Author (Rowland) 797 Cutter number H2 first letter of title (Harry Potter + 2 nd copy) 823.914 R797H2 =
  • 9. Ten Main Divisions: A lot less than LC
    • 000 Generalities 
    • 100 Philosophy and Psychology
    • 200 Religion
    • 300 Social Science
    • 400 Language
    • 500 Natural Science and Mathematics
    • 600 Technology (Applied Sciences)
    • 700 Arts
    • 800 Literature
    • 900 Geography and History
  • 10. The big sha-bang: Like the LC classification system, Dewey has a lot of subjects and a lot of numbers. Wikipedia has a nicely formed list.
  • 11. Why don’t we use Dewey if it’s so popular?
    • There are several very excellent reasons:
    • Because.
    • We’re too awesome to use a classification system with the name Dewey.
    • Its so super secret that, if you knew, the world could possibly implode upon itself.
  • 12. And knowledge is power!
    • If you take away only one thing, take away this: LC call numbers are your friends. They can help if you know how to use them.
    • And if you haven’t learned anything or just don’t care, there are a lot of librarians waiting to help.
    LC + You =
  • 13. Ask for Help
    • Need help? There are lots of ways to contact a librarian at the University of Calgary. You could:
    • Call: 403-220-8895
    • E-Mail: [email_address]
    • Visit: MacKimmie Library Hours
    • IM: library.ucalgary.ca/services