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Finding Books in the Library

This guide will walk you through how to find books in the SCC Library.

How to Read a Call Number

Whether you look up a book in the library catalog or find a book on the shelf in the library, you are going to find a call number for the book. Think of the call number as the book's address on the shelf. The call number is going to tell you where the book is located on the shelf, plus some other information about the book.

A book's call number can be found in a few places:

Library Catalog

The call number to "Black Women Leaders of the Civil Rights Movement" in the library catalog outlined in red with a red arrow pointing to it.

Spine of the Book

The call number on the spine of a book outlined in red with a red arrow pointing to it.

The call number for Black Women Leaders of the Civil Rights Movement is E185.61 .A4415 1996.

E185.61: This is the subject of the book. The SCC Library uses the Library of Congress Classification System, which groups books together by subject area and not by author's name, like the Public Library does. This can be helpful for doing research, since the books about your topic will all be in the same area of the library. 

For example, books in the E185.61 section are all going to be about United States History.

.A4415: This tells us about the author's last name. .A4415 is the number assigned to the author of this book, Zita Allen.

1996: This is the year the book was published.

**Helpful Tip: When searching for books on the shelf, pay close attention to the first grouping of numbers in the call number. In our example, E185.61 .A4415 1996 is one hundred (100), so when beginning to look for the book, you should skip over the E10s and HD900s and start in the E100s.