Don't pull your hair out over a call number. Any library worker is happy to help you find what you're looking for!
Dewey and LC
Most public and some academic libraries use the Dewey system. In Dewey, call numbers consist of NUMBERS.
The Van Wylen Library uses the LC (Library of Congress) system. In LC, call numbers begin with LETTERS.
Some sample titles and their call numbers:
Reading LC Call Numbers
Call numbers are read line by line.
1. Read the first line in alphabetical order:
A, B, BF, C, D, ...L, LB, LC, P, PR ...
2. Read the second line as a whole number:
1, 2, 3, 45, 100, 1000, 4000, 4037 ...
3. The third line is a combination of a letter and one or more numbers. Read the letter alphabetically. Read the number(s) as a decimal.
.J before .K
.J21 = .21 .J36 = .36 .K724 = .724 .K72 = .72 .K84 = .84
.21 before .36
.724 before .84
4. Read the date chronologically:
1964, 1975, 1998, 2003
Sample Shelf Order:
Want to know more about what the various letter combinations and numbers stand for? This page (Hampshire College) gives a helpful overview.