Go back

Call Numbers

APSU’s Woodward Library, like many academic libraries in the US, uses the Library of Congress Classification system for their subject terms and for their call numbers. Call numbers are combinations of letters and numbers that indicate how materials are arranged by subject. Each item in the library has a unique call number. A call number is like an address. It tells us where the item is located in the library. Because books on the shelves are arranged in call number order, you will find books on similar subjects shelved together.

Read a call number line by line:

  • The first line is in alphabetical order
  • The second line is read as a whole number
  • With the third line, read the letter alphabetically and the number as a decimal
  • The date is read in chronological order

Watch the brief video below for a more detailed description of how to read and understand a call number.