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College 101: Getting to Know Your Library: Finding books

This guide provides a virtual tour and introduction to your TCC Library

Finding books and call numbers in the TCC library

Explore the TCC Library Catalog:

The TCC Library Arranges Books by Call Numbers

These letters and numbers serve as an address for the book's physical location in the library. Each lettered and numbered section represents a different topic or subject. When you're searching for a book in the library catalog (or SuperSearch), write down the call number and location of the book (Main Collection, Reference Collection, Popular, etc.) then go to the shelves to locate the books. Librarians and Reference Specialists are always available to help you locate books!

What Does a Call Number Look Like?

You can find call numbers on the spine of a print book -- usually broken up into multiple lines -- or written out in one line in a book record in our library catalog. 

(click on image to enlarge)

Examples of Library of Congress call numbers

The Library of Congress Call Number System

The TCC Library Uses the Library of Congress Call Number System

The "Library of Congress" system -- often referred to as "LC" for short -- is a very common system that many academic and college libraries use to organize their collections. Public libraries, as well as K-12 school libraries, use the "Dewey Decimal" call number system.

Here are the major classes, or categories, of Library of Congress call numbers:

  • A – General Works
  • B – Philosophy, Psychology, Religion
  • C – Auxiliary Sciences of History (General)
  • D – World History (except American History)
  • E – American History
  • F – Local History of the United States and British, Dutch, French, and Latin America
  • G – Geography, Anthropology, Recreation
  • H – Social Sciences
  • J – Political Science
  • K – Law
  • L – Education
  • M – Music
  • N – Fine Arts
  • P – Language and Literature
  • Q – Science
  • R – Medicine
  • S – Agriculture
  • T – Technology
  • U – Military Science
  • V – Naval Science
  • Z – Bibliography, Library Science

Get Practice Reading Call Numbers

Use the link, or click on the image below, to take an interactive quiz online -- see if you can read a call number correctly! This quiz should open in a new window.

Library of Congress quiz screenshot

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Except where otherwise noted, the content in these guides by Tacoma Community College Library is licensed under CC BY SA 4.0.
This openly licensed content allows others to cite, share, or modify this content, with credit to TCC Library. When reusing or adapting this content, include this statement in the new document: This content was originally created by Tacoma Community College Library and shared with a CC BY SA 4.0 license.

Tacoma Community College Library - Building 7, 6501 South 19th Street, Tacoma, WA 98466 - P. 253.566.5087

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