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How to Find Books by Call Number

Kent State University Libraries use the Library of Congress (LC) classification system for organizing and shelving books. Each book as a unique "call number" composed of letters and numbers, which is used to determine the book's placement on the shelf, and to group it among other books on the same subject.

Most books are shelved by their LC call number. (Journals are shelved alphabetically by title, and government documents use a different call number system.)

After searching KentLINK, the online catalog:

Convert the call number from the catalog display to a vertical form (as it appears on the spine or lower front cover of a book):

Convert LC call number from online catalog format to book label format

Follow the model, descriptions and rules below.

  • Periodicals, journals, magazines, and newspapers are shelved alphabetically by title on the 2nd floor.
  • Microformats (microfilm, microfiche, etc.) are available through the Periodical Information Desk on the 2nd floor.
  • Annual reports are filed alphabetically and are located in filing cabinets on the 2nd floor. (Annual reports may also be available online.)
  • Books, monographs, and other material with LC call numbers are shelved according to the following:

LC call number elements

The following are location codes that may appear on material but are not part of the call number:


("quarto") oversized, shelved upright on shelves at the end of the floor


("folio") oversized, shelved flat on shelves at the end of the floor


located in Government Documents, 10th floor


located in the Reference Center, 1st floor

Gov Doc Ref

located in the Reference Center, 1st floor

Juv Coll

located in Juvenile Collection, 9th floor

Min Cat

Minimal Level Cataloging, located on the 9th floor

Arch Lib


Fash Lib


PA Lib, Mus Lib

NOTE: If you cannot locate a book on shelf, it may be in the sorting range. Sorting ranges are at the beginning of floors 7, 8, and 9. Books in the sorting range are grouped by the letter line of the call number, and sometimes by the whole number line as well - books in the sorting range are not in exact order. The shelves in the sorting range are labeled with the letter line (and sometimes whole number) of the call numbers.

Items that you cannot locate may be requested through the KentLINK catalog. Requested items will be retrieved and placed on hold for you. Please ask at the Reference Information Desk or Circulation Desk for further assistance.

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