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Answered By: Jean Reese
Last Updated: Dec 19, 2016     Views: 21

Walker Library uses the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) system to organize most books in its collection. Exceptions include:

  • e Music Collection (Library of Congress)
  • Curriculum Collection which uses Dewey as well as custom call numbers.  

The Dewey system allows books on the same subject to be near each other on the shelves.  

DDC assigns each book a number based on the subject matter.  There are 10 main subject classes, 100 divisions and 1000 sections that create a three-digit number.  This number can be expanded with an unlimited number of decimal places to capture additional details about the item.  

  • Example:  813.54 M37 2007 

Decoding Dewey Decimal Call Numbers


Adapted from ipl2 web site

Read the call numbers line by line, for example, the call number for the book Future Thinking by Ann Sturgess is:

370.152 Identifies that this book belongs to the category of education.
STU Based on the last name of the author, Sturgess

To find this book: 

  • Find the section of the stacks where the call number begins 370 (this number is read as a whole number).
  • Treat the rest as a decimal, e.g. 370.152 would come between 370.15 and 370.16.  
  • Within this section, work alphabetically to find S.
  • Sometimes there are numbers after the letter. If this is the case, read these numbers as decimals.

(Credit: University of Canerbury Library)

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