Answered By: Kara Kugelmeyer
Last Updated: Apr 20, 2020     Views: 16

A call number is a series of numbers and letters that represent the location of a book as well as its subject. Think of a call number as a book's address, because the number tells you where to physically find the book in the library. It also tells you what subject area the material is classified in. The call numbers here may look different than other call numbers you have seen because Colby uses the Library of Congress system and other libraries, especially public and school, use the Dewey Decimal system. 

  • When you locate a book in the catalog it will indicate the call number.
  • Be sure to write down the entire number before you go to the shelf to look for the book.
  • A sample call number, as seen on the spine of a book, looks like this:


It reads left to right, top to bottom.


We have friendly signage located throughout the libraries to help you find the shelving locations of different call numbers.

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