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Using Library of Congress Call Numbers
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Each item in the library has an identification number, known as a call number. The number is pasted on the spine of the book. Like an address, this number tells you where an item "lives" in the library. The Marvin Library at HVCC uses the Library of Congress Classification System, as do most college and university libraries. You may be familiar with the Dewey Decimal System, used by many public and school libraries. The Library of Congress system follows much the same idea, but it uses a combination of letters and numbers (Dewey uses only numbers). The first line contains one or more letters (A, HB, Q, M, TK, etc.). These letters represent the main subject of the item. When books have more than one letter, the single lettered books are first on the shelf (to the left), followed by those with double letters.

Example: in the H section, the order would be: H, HA, HB, HC, HD, and so on. The second line is always a whole number from 1-9,999. If the letters on the first line of the call number are the same, the book with the smaller number on the second line is shelved to the left of the book with the larger number. Example (on a shelf):
        
            H                  is to the left of               H
            30						       120
The third line is always a decimal point, followed by a letter and a number. Books are shelved alphabetically according to the letter after the decimal point. Example (on a shelf):
             H	               is to the left of	        H
             34		             			        34
           .A423		                               .M65

When you find a book you think you might want to take out in the HVCC online catalogue, check to see if it says "Ref" or "IMC" in the call number column. If it does NOT, it belongs to the circulating collection which is shelved on the top floor of the library, and you can check it out.