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Finding Books: Finding a Book in the Library

This guide will show you how to find books in the library catalog.

Finding a book in the Library

Once you have selected your book in the catalog, it's time to find it on the library shelves.  You will just need some basic information from the book's catalog record:

The first place to look in the book's catalog record is the status field, as that will indicate whether the book is available or checked out.  If the book is available, you can find it in the library by using its call number and location.  The call number is a unique combination of letters and numbers that identify a book.  In the example above, the call number is BT771.T54. 

The location field in a book's catalog record will show you the area of the library in which you can find your book.  Most of the library's books are in the stacks location.  The stacks on the second floor of the library contain books with call numbers A through BV, while the ground floor stacks contain books with call numbers BX through Z.  Our above example is a BT call number, so it will be located in the second floor stacks.

In the stacks, you will find signs on the ends of each aisle that will tell you the call number range of the books located within that aisle.  The one for our example book looks like this:

Once the right aisle is located, simply follow the call number order of the books in that location and find the call number that corresponds to your book:

Success!  It should be noted at this point that while most of the books in the Barbour Library collection are in the stacks, there are a few other locations where books and other library materials can be found.  Periodicals, microfilm, bibliographies, indexes, and audio-visual items such as CD's and DVD's can be found in the periodicals room on the first floor.  Reference books are also on the first floor, in the reference room.  Any items that are on reserve can be found at the library circulation desk.  Finally, the library has a few collections of unique and rare books.  Some of these collections are difficult to find, and some are kept behind locked doors, so please ask about them at the circulation or reference desks and we will help you find them.