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How to Locate Books in the Library

Once you have found a book or video in the Muskingum Library Catalog, there are three pieces of information you need to know to find it on the shelf.

1. What is the Status
Do you see the word AVAILABLE or a due date? If it is available you should be able to find it in the building. If it shows a due date, that means someone else is using it. Search OhioLINK to see if you can request another copy be sent here.

2. What is the Location?
The shelving location will give you an idea of where to look in the building. You will find a list of the locations codes used in the catalog below.

Shelving Locations Used in the Library Catalog

  • Muskingum Stacks: A to HC on upstairs, HD-N on main floor, P-Z downstairs
  • Muskingum Quartos: all three floors depending on call number outer wall
  • Muskingum Lib Amer Pres: bookcases in the West Study
  • Muskingum Reference: main floor behind Reference desk
  • Muskingum Ready Reference: directly behind Reference desk
  • Muskingum Reserves: main floor Circulation desk
  • Muskingum DVD, VHS, CD, Cassette, and Kit: upstairs in the Columbus Room
  • Muskingum Juvenile Collection: upstairs in the Columbus Room
  • Muskingum Periodicals: current issues on main floor; older issues downstairs in periodicals area
  • Muskingum Microfiche: downstairs in periodicals area
  • Muskingum Microfilm: downstairs in periodicals area
  • Muskingum Government Documents: downstairs in compact shelving
  • Muskingum Archives: closed stacks upstairs behind West Study
  • Muskingum Special Collections: closed stacks upstairs behind West study

3. What is the Call Number?
We use the Library of Congress classification system to organize the books and videos in the Library. Each item is given a call number to group books on the same subject together on the shelf. In our Library books are shelved on the following floors: A-HC are on the top floor, HD-N is on the main floor, and P-Z is on the bottom floor. Once you are on the correct floor, you need to look at the call number ranges displayed on the labels at the ends of each shelving unit.

Sample call number: HV7436 .G8772 2004

Read call numbers line by line.

The first line in alphabetical order.
A, B, BF, C, ... H, HA, HQ, HV, L, ...

The second line as whole numbers.
1, 2, 3, 45, 100, 101, 1000, 2000, ...

The third line is a combination of letters and numbers. Read the letter alphabetically and the number as a decimal.
.G2, .G234, .G7, .G8772, .G9, .G912, ...

Many books have an additional line showing the year the book was Published. Read these chronologically.
1970, 1983, 1999, 2000, 2004, 2005

What Do Call Numbers Mean?

  • The first and second alphanumeric lines represent the subject of the book HV represents Gun Control – United States
  • The third line letter-and-decimal number often represents the author's last name.
  • The last line usually is the publication date. However, not all books have this line.

You can learn more and see a visual example on the Understanding Library of Congress Call Numbers help page.

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