At Kenyon, as in many academic libraries, books are shelved primarily according to the Library of Congress (LC) Classification System. An LC call number looks like this in CONSORT, the library’s catalog:
Here is the same call number on the spine of a book:
The letters and the first number (before the decimal point) tell you the LC class and subclass for the book--in this case, Language and Literature (P) in English (PR), written between 1900 and 1960 (PR 6019).
To find a book in the library, start with the letters at the beginning of the call number. These are shelved in alphabetical order.
Next, look at the whole number following the letters. These are shelved in numerical order.
The next section is read as a decimal, first alphabetically, then numerically. Since these are decimals, not whole numbers, you’ll find .3983 on the shelf before .9. Also, this section may consist of two strings of letters and numbers.
Finally, look for the publication year (if there is one in the call number); these are organized from earliest to most recent.
To locate books in the library, consult the floor plans. Call numbers on the second (main floor) are A-C, G-L, and the Reference collection (A-Z); call numbers on the third floor are D-F, M-Z, and Folio (oversized) A-Z.
Important item locations in CONSORT include:
Stop by the Reference Desk or contact a librarian.