Locating Library Books

Circulating Books are shelved in the Stacks on the Upper and Lower Levels, and on the Main Level (Juvenile books and Pop Picks). Oversize books, those too large to fit in their proper place on the shelves in the Stacks, are shelved in the Oversize Stacks, a specially designated area on the Lower Level. If a book cannot be accommodated in its proper place in the Stacks, a "dummy" will direct patrons to search for it in the Oversize Stacks. Library books are arranged in the Stacks by Library of Congress (LC) classification number according to subject. Patrons may consult the Interpreting LC Classifications page to help them find the correct Stacks location of library books. The Stacks are open to all patrons and visitors. Books shelved in these areas are available for use in the Library and may be checked out by eligible borrowers.

After books are returned from circulation and before they are reshelved they are sorted by call number and placed on book trucks, behind the circulation Desk, to be reshelved in the Stacks.

Below are some suggestions for finding books in the Stacks:

Confirm call number:

Correctly copy the call number of the desired item(s) from the Library's online catalog. Note any prefixes above the call number, i.e. Ref., Juv., Oversize (+ or * also denote Oversize).

Check circulation status:

Note the circulation status of the desired item(s), when searching the Library's online catalog. A "material has been checked/charged out" status indicates that the book is already checked out to another patron. An "available" status indicates that the book should be in its proper location in the Stacks.

Find correct Stacks location:

The range of call numbers of the books that should be shelved in a particular location are marked on the end panels of the Stacks.

Browse shelf:

If a book does not seem to be in its proper location, scan the shelf thoroughly, both before and after what is thought to be the correct location.

Check Books Waiting to Be Shelved:

Ask the library staff at the Circulation Desk to check the book trucks behind the desk for books recently returned that are waiting to be reshelved.

Check New Books:

If the book was very recently acquired by the Library it may be shelved in the New Books display located in the Reference Area.

Check again in a few days:

If the steps listed above have been followed and you cannot find the desired item(s), wait two (2) or three (3) days and check the Stacks again. If you are still unable to find the book(s), you may request the Access Services Department to conduct a search for the "missing" item(s).


Last Updated November 15, 2013