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Teaching Assistants and Research Assistants

Using Call Numbers

A call number is a unique code given to each item in the library. It identifies the subject and location of each book, journal, video, map, etc.

McPherson Library arranges most items using the Library of Congress (LC) Classification system, which uses call numbers that start with letters and also include numbers. 

You can use LC Classification to see what call numbers are used for your topic.

McPherson book, using LC: PR6057 R37 I45

Call number locations

Most books have a "McPherson Library" location:

Maps are also posted around the library, or you can ask at the Library Help Desk.

Search the library catalogue

Search for physical items including books and media.

Get Call Numbers

Find the book you want in the Catalogue (Books & More) and get its call number (see eTutorials for search tips). Also check its location: McPherson, Reference, Music and Media, Priestly Law, etc. You can see this information in the main result list or the catalogue record (shown below), which you see in both the item's short and long record.

Find the book on the shelf

Go to the indicated location then look for the call number. It will be one line in the catalog but broken into at least two parts on the book, found on the book's spine. Hunt it down one part at a time. Here is an example for the book Eau Canada: The Future of Canada's Water.

Some books also have a publication year at the end of their call numbers. These are arranged chronlogically (2005 before 2008, etc.). Journals and books in series may also have volume numbers. These are arranged sequentially (v.1, v.2, v.3...).



When you find a book, look at the ones shelved around it - because they're arranged by subject, they should be similar. You can do this virtually in the catalogue by using the "Virtual Browse" feature at the bottom of an item's record.

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