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1.2.3 Understand call numbers

Determine your information  needs
1.1 Define your topic
1.2 Increase familiarity with your topic
  1.2.1 Understand your references
  1.2.2 Locate your references
* 1.2.3 Understand call numbers
1.3 Map your ideas
1.4 Types of assignment
1.5 Amount of information
1.6 Types of sources
1.7 Types of publications
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A call number is used to locate the item on the shelves within the library.

ECU Library uses the Dewey Decimal Classification numbering system for arranging books and other resources on the shelves.

To find the item, note the full call number. i.e. number plus letters. e.g. 658.404 SCH.

There may be a large number of items at 658.404. Items at this number are then arranged alphabetically by the 3 letters following the number, so you can go to the exact location of the item you require.

In the catalogue, the call number will be written all on one line.

For example:

Library catalogue record with a Call Number written on a single line (174.1 VEL)

This will appear on the spine of the book in three lines:



 Call number sorting

><p>Arrange these books into their correct call number order: <ol><li>364.168 3/3</li><li>364 296</li><li>363.25 1</li><li>364 37</li><li>364.168 3</li></ol> Answer: The correct order is: 3,4,2,5,1.</p>

How did you do? At ECU Library, some numbers are preficed by letters:

  • "Q" prefix means that the item is in a collection of oversized resources (marked Q). Items in this collection are separate from the main collection and are also available for loan.
  • "S" in front of the shelf number refers to a print journal or serial which is located in the Serials collection. These items are not available for loan.
  • "T" prefix refers to the Teaching Practice collection, which is a collection of resources for Education students. Oversized Teaching Practice materials are shelved in the TQ collection.
  • "A" prefix refers to Australian literature: this collection is found in the Main Collection.
  • "R" prefix refers to items located in the Reference collection. Reference materials include dictionaries, encyclopaedias, etc. and are not available for loan.

You can now commence your background reading. How will you determine what key concepts to focus on?

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