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JCC Library Handouts: Guide to Locating Books

These are simplified handouts with documentation information for students.

Guide to Locating Books

Print and Audio books in our library are arranged by collection and call number.

Our Main collection is our largest print collection (about 37,000 titles) and these books may be checked out if you have your SUNYCard.
New Main collection books are shelved in the “New Acquisitions” area when they first arrive so that patrons may browse recent arrivals. The Main collection is located to the rear of the library, near the Quiet Study area.

The Reference collection provides specialized encyclopedias and other books that provide short overviews of topics and also help you select or refine a topic.  These books remain in the library – but you are free to scan sections if you need to. This collection is located around the corner from the Information & Services Desk, follow the wall to your left as you move past the desk to locate this collection

The Young Adult collection is located near the Reference collection and includes many popular fiction titles of interest to both young and not so young readers.

Our Juvenile collection of children’s books is located near the Young Adult collection, between the Reference collection and the Quiet Study area.

The Oversize collection consists of, just as the name suggests, books that are larger than the majority of our books and are stored on special shelves on the wall adjacent to the Main collection. These books may be checked out.

Our Audio Book collection is located between the Young Adult collection and the Juvenile collection.

library floorplan

Within each collection the books are arranged in Library of Congress call number order.  Each book has its own unique call number which is found on a label on the book’s spine. Each collection (with the exception of the Main collection) has a unique prefix (Ref, Oversize, Young Adult, Juvenile, Aud. Bk., etc.) to ensure that the items are housed in the correct collection. Once you learn the system you will be able to locate any book in the library. 

Here is a call number for a book as it appears in CannonCat, our search tool for books:  E302.6 .F8 B83 2000 

How would you find this on the shelf?  Here is how it appears on the spine label on the book: 

                                                                                                               E
                                                                                                               302.6
                                                                                                               .F8
                                                                                                               B83
                                                                                                               2000

Since the call number begins with a letter and not a prefix, you know that the book is part of the Main collection. Locate the “E” area – the books are arranged in alphabetical order by the first letter of the call number. Next, look at the first set of numbers and scan for the 302.6 section.  NOTE the decimal point – look in the 300 area, not the 3000 area!  Begin at the top of a bookshelf and work down and then start at the top again and work down – do not read across the top of an entire set of shelves!  Once you locate the E302.6 area, look at the second letter/number combination, F8 – again, this subset of books is arranged in alpha – numeric order, find the Fs and then the F8s.  If need be, you may need to do this again for the next letter/number combination. 

Here are some other example call numbers, including one from a DVD collection:

Ref.
HD
9502
.U62
E64
2009

(Reference
collection)

Oversize
ML
421
.B4
B33
2002

(Oversize
collection)

Young
Adult
PN
6767
.G56
L6313
2007

(Young Adult
collection)

Aud. Bk.
QC
981.8
.C5
M3895
2010

(Audio Book
collection)

Juvenile        
E
178.6
.A76
2006

(Juvenile
collection)

DVD          
ML
3534
H57
2004

(DVD non-circulating
collection)