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How to Read Dewey Decimal Call Numbers

How to Read Dewey Decimal Call Numbers

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Published by: zackwayne on Nov 11, 2009
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11/21/2012

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How to Read Dewey Decimal CallNumbers
Libraries assign a unique number to each book, government document, video, etc. in their collections, which is used to distinguish it from all other items in the library and indicateswhere it will be shelved in a collection. This is known as a call number. A labelcontaining this call number appears on almost every item in the library, usually on thespine, but sometimes on the front cover if it is very thin. The major exception inAndersen Library is periodicals, which are shelved alphabetically by title in eachlocation.Dewey Decimal call numbers are most often used in public libraries, and in AndersenLibrary are assigned to Juvenile Nonfiction books in the Media Center.Both the Library of Congress (LC) classification system and Dewey DecimalClassification (DDC) system use call numbers that are a combination of letters andnumbers. The first part of each type of call number is designed to arrange materials bysubject. A quick way to identify the difference between them, is that LC call numbers begin with letters, and DDC call numbers begin with numbers.Every DDC call number begins with a three-digit whole number, and some are followed by decimal numbers. In the University Library, the second part contains three letters. Inthe library catalog, a space separates the parts. On the book label, the first part is usuallyabove the second part, but sometimes they could follow each other as in the Catalog.
Compare DDC and LC Call NumbersTitleDeweyDecimalLibrary of CongressCOMPARE:
The Declaration of Independence
973.3Uni
The Declaration of Independenceand the Constitution
 
JK146.L351956COMPARE:
Quasars, Pulsars, and Black Holes
523.8Asi
Quasars and Pulsars
 
QB860.L37
Let's illustrate how a DDC call number works using the following book from theOversize Juvenile Nonfiction collection:
973.3
The Declaration of Independence
Uni
 by the United States of AmericaTop of Page

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