- The first line of a call number may begin with one, two, or three letters. These letters should be read alphabetically. A call number that begins with A is shelved before one that begins with B, C, etc.; and a call number that begins with QE is located somewhere before the one that starts with QL.
- The second line of a call number is made of a number that may have one or more digits. This line is read numerically. A call number with a smaller number in its second line is placed before one that has a larger number for its second line:
- The third line is the trickiest part of the call number: The letter is shelved alphabetically, and the number following the letter is treated as if it were preceded by a decimal.. Thus:
But, the tricky part of the 3rd line of the call number is that its numerical component is read as a decimal number. Thus, these examples are in correct call number order:
This makes sense if you read the numbers as decimals!
- The final lines of the call numbers may include dates, volume indicators, issue numbers, copy numbers, and other annotations such as supplement or index specifiers. These annotations are read after the call number.
Try it this way. If you still can't find what you want, ask for assistance at the Reference Center, 1st Floor, Library North. The people who work there will be more than glad to help!