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Reference Resources: Library, Citing, and Technology Tools

Use this page to find research and reference resources available at Kenyon.

Library Tools

How to Read a Call Number

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.

327 3729 6019
.H37 .U5 .O9
1998 T7 P63
2000 1996

Next, look at the whole number following the letters. These are shelved in numerical order.

936 6017 6019 8475
.W66 .S5 .O9 .O9
1994 Z85 P63 2005
1980 1996

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.

6019 6019 6019 6019 6019
.E57 .O3938 .O9 .O9 .O9
D43 D8 P63
1994 2006 1996

Finally, look for the publication year (if there is one in the call number); these are organized from earliest to most recent.

6019 6019 6019
.O9 .O9 .O9
P63 P63 P63
1972 1996 2001

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:

  • KEN Main: General stacks, located on the 2nd or 3rd floor; search by LC call number.
  • KEN Reference: Reference stacks, located on the 2nd floor; search by LC call number.
  • KEN Multimedia: Multimedia Collections, located on the 2nd floor.
  • KEN Folio: Oversized items, located on the 3rd floor; search by LC call number.
  • KEN Bound Periodicals: Bound journals, located on the 1st floor;shelved alphabetically by title.
  • KEN Archives/Spec Coll: Special Collections and Archives, located on the 1st floor. 
  • KEN Govdocs: Government Documents, located on the 1st floor; shelved by SuDocs classification number -- stop by the Reference Desk for more assistance.  
  • DEN / WOO / OWU Main: If the item isn't at Kenyon, you may request it from another CONSORT library. 

Need More Help?

Stop by the Reference Desk or contact a librarian. 

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