student reading book at library shelf
Library News

How Books are Arranged in the Library

Posted in: Homepage Features

books crammed on shelves

If you’ve looked up a book in our catalog and then searched for it among the shelves, you probably already know how to use a call number. But you might be left wondering what all of those letters and numbers mean, and why the library arranges books this way.

The Sprague Library is an academic library, and therefore uses the Library of Congress Classification system, or LCC, instead of the Dewey Decimal System. The page linked gives you an outline of the way subjects are arranged in the library, with each subject assigned to the first letter of a call number. Clicking each one shows you the numbered subclasses of each subject.

For example, Class B is Philosophy, Psychology and Religion. Subclass BF is Psychology, and everything about Experimental Psychology is under BF180-198.7. This system makes it easy to find the specific area of study that you want to research, and arranges books so that similar subjects are near each other.

Photo by Eugenio Mazzone on Unsplash