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Cataloging Services: Finding Books

Online Catalog

Finding the book you want

To find a book on a particular subject:

  • Type in a few important words that describe your subject. Do not use prepositions or adjectives. For instance, to find a book on college football in Florida, try typing "college football Florida"
  • If you find a book that exactly fits what you are looking for and would like to find others like it, make a note of the call number. Books on the same subject are classed together on the shelf. You can go to the shelf and look around, or you can do the call number search in the catalog.

Understanding Call Numbers

Like most academic libraries, the libraries at UWF use the Library of Congress call number system. The way each subject is classed was developed by experts in those fields of studies. A call number consists of one or more letters that broadly indicate the subject area, then a number that narrows the subject down, there may be another number or letter and number to narrow it down further. From there, a "cutter" is added that puts the book in alphabetical order on the shelf either by the author's last name or, if there is no author, by the title. Here is a simple example from the catalog of the Library of Congress:

Automotive chassis systems / by Thomas W. Birch.

TL        <---------- TL tells us that this subject area is broadly about motor vehicles, aeronautics, or astronautics
255      <---------  255 is where books on the automobile chassis are classed. 
.B54     <---------  .B the first letter of the author's last name. 54 is a number to put this name in the proper alphabetical order on the shelf
2000    <---------   Date the book was published 
Doing a call number search in our catalog on TL255 will show you what books (if any) we have on the subject of automobile chassis.
Here is a slightly more complex example:
San Francisco earthquake, April 18, 1906 / written by Sue L. Hamilton ; edited by John C. Hamilton.
F            <---------------------  United States local history
869        <--------------------- California
.S357     <--------------------- San Francisco
H36       <--------------------  Hamilton (author)
1988      <--------------------  Date the book was published