Ramsey Library Call Numbers
Every book in the library has a unique call number that determines
where it is shelved. The first part of the call number indicates the subject
classification.
Books on the same subject have call numbers that begin with letters
indicating the
same Library of Congress Subject Classification. Each book also has a book
number that designates its exact place on the shelf relative to other books on
the same subject.
 The subject classification system makes it possible to shelve all books
about a specific topic in one place, and to shelve books on
similar, related subjects in the same area of the library.
You might think that using classification numbers to shelve books by
subject means there is no need for a library catalog. Not so!
Many books cover several related topic areas, but they can have only
one call number.
The call number will reflect the LC classification that most closely matches its
main point or major subject area. To help you find multisubject or interdisciplinary materials, the library
catalog includes as many subject headings as necessary to describe the
book's content. In this way, performing a search for any of these
descriptive subject headings will lead you to the same book.

Call numbers tend to look like fairly random
numbers, but each component plays an important part. For
example:
P 
General
Books on languages
and literature 
PR 
Books
specifically on English literature 
PR2750 through PR3112 
Works
by and about Shakespeare 
PR2807.A2 
Editions
of Hamlet 
PR2807.A2 R9 
A
specific edition of Hamlet 
 Confused?! Don't worry, it's not
necessary to memorize detailed subject classifications and
call number distinctions in order to be an efficient library
user. You need only understand enough about call numbers to
be able to read them and decipher where the material you're
searching for will appear in the shelf order. How else will you
ever find any of our great books?!
Finding the location and call number in the library catalog
Reading and understanding call number decimals
Every call number contains a decimal point.
 Read the number before the decimal as a
whole number. (QL43 comes before QL44, QL45, QL46 and so on ...)
 Read numbers after the decimal point as decimal
numbers. (QL43.M311 is shelved before QL43.M4 or QL43.M76)
The following simulated call numbers are in correct order:
BF
75
.S6 
BF
76
.E4 
BF
698
.M315 
BF
698
.M4 
BF
1997
.S46 
BF
1997
.S9 
TIP: It's easier to understand call number order if you
remember
to extend: try mentally
adding zeros to numbers after the decimal point in order to
make them all equal the same length:
BF
75
.S600 
BF
76
.E400 
BF
698
.M315 
BF
698
.M400 
BF
1997
.S460 
BF
1997
.S900 
Circulating books in Ramsey Library's general collection are
shelved by call number and located on the Upper (A  P call number
range) or Lower (Q  Z call number range) floor.
