Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

How To Find a Book on the Shelf: Home

Library of Congress Classification System

The MCC Library uses the Library of Congress Classification system to shelve and organize books in our collection. This system is used by most academic libraries. Most public libraries use the Dewey Decimal System. 


Library of Congress Classification System is an alphanumeric system meaning it uses a combination of letters and numbers. The letters represent different subject areas. For example, call numbers beginning with P are books on language and literature. It is then divided further. For example, books beginning with the call numbers PS are books on American literature. Books on the same topic will be shelved together.


How To Read LC Call Numbers

LC call numbers are read from left to right, and top to bottom. The letters are alphabetical, P comes first then PA, PB, so on until Q. The number on the next line is a whole number so 59 then 60 and so on. The next line is a combination of letters and numbers. The letters are alphabetical, the following number is a decimal. The next line is the year of publication.


Be sure to check the location of the book in the library, such as stacks, reference, reserves.