George Mason University

Read a Call Number

Mason Libraries uses the Library of Congress Classification system to arrange books on the shelves so that books on the same topic are shelved together. Each book has a unique call number that begins with one, two, or three capital letters followed by numbers. Most call numbers appear on the spine of the book or video. A call number is like an address - it tells where the book is located in the library.

Read it!

call number



Read the call number top to bottom, line by line

LB 1st Line: read in alphabetical order (Example: LB before LC)
2395 2nd Line: read as whole number (Example: 2395 before 2396)
.c55 3rd Line: read letter alphabetically and read number as decimal. (Example: .C5499 before .C55)
2007 Last Line: can be publication date, volume or copy number and/or other annotation
Find it! Guide signs posted on each book stack end indicate the "neighborhood" for the book's call number

If you need additional assistance reading a call number or locating library materials, Ask a Librarian.