Marx Library, University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL 36688-0002

Call Numbers

About Call Numbers

The call number is an item's address within the library. Call numbers can be written left to right (as in the online catalog) or top to bottom (as on the labels on books). Call numbers relate to the subject of a book, which means that books on the same topic are shelved together. This allows you to browse shelves to find other good materials.

Top to bottom call number, as seen on a label Left to right call number, as seen in the library's catalog

Marx Library uses the Library of Congress classification system. The Marx Library bookstacks are arranged as follows:

Call Number RangeLocation
A-HB3rd Floor North
HC-N4th Floor North
NA-Z4th Floor South

Books in the Reference Department (2nd Floor North) are also shelved using LC classification. For other locations in the library, refer to the USA Library Locations chart.

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Reading a Call Number

first line of a call number

First line: LC call numbers begin with 1, 2, or 3 letters. Read these alphabetically, for example: A before B and QA before QB

second line of a call number

Second line: A number. Read this as a whole number, for example: QA 303.3 before QA 304

third line of a call number

Third line: A letter followed by numbers. Read the letters alphabetically and the numbers as if they were preceded by a decimal point. For example: TK 5105.88 .A376 before TK 5105.888 .A76 before TK 5105.88 .B325 before TK 5105.888 .B39 Some call numbers will have two sets of these letter number pairs; treat the second set the same way as the first.

final line of a call number

Final lines: These lines may include the date, volume or issue number, copy number, or other annotations.

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