Answered By: Emily Newberry Last Updated: Jan 27, 2017 Views: 26
Like most academic libraries, the Thompson Library uses the Library of Congress Classification system instead of the Dewey Decimal System. All of our call numbers are shelved alphabetically and then numerically. So for example if you have the call number PS 3563 .O8749 B4 1987, you would first find the section of the collection with call numbers that begin with the letter "P". This indicated that it is classified as literature. The books are then ordered P, PA, PB, etc. through PZ. The PS section indicates that it is American Literature. You will then look at the numbers. When you find the PS 3563 books, you will revert to letters and vice versa until you find the correct book. The final number will indicate the year of publication, which can be important when determining how current a book is or differentiating between editions of a book.