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Print Resources: Finding Books with LoC

Library of Congress Classification System

The Library of Congress Classification System (LoC) is used in Isothermal Community College Library to organize and index the library's book collections. The LoC System organizes items by subject rather than by genre, as is the commonly used system in public libraries.

Each book is assigned a call number which is typed on a label and attached to the book's spine (see illustration below), designating its location on the shelf at the same time it indicates the subject area about which the book is written.

book with spine label

Tip: Knowing Your LoC Area

You can locate books on a specific subject, books written by a particular author, or a book with a certain title by using the CMC Catalog. When you identify a title that meets your needs in the Results list, you will see a letter and number combination to use in finding the book on the shelves.

Becoming familiar with the LoC letter and number combination associated with a subject of your interest enables you to go directly to that area in the shelving and browse through more books related to that same subject. 

For more information on searching for books, see Using the CMC Catalog.

LoC Subject Designations

Locating Books with LoC

Chart for Locating Books

Books "Lost in the Library"

Did you know that a book in the wrong place on the Library shelves is actually LOST? No one can find it when it's not right where it belongs according to the LoC System.

When you take a book from the shelf, but decide not to check it out, please lay it on any flat surface, like a table, a carrel or even at the end of a shelf past the bookend. Then the library staff will find it and return it to the exact spot where it can be found again.

LoC Tip

The Reference Collection, the Oversize collection which follows, and the Circulating collection after that, are each arranged alphabetically in the LoC System from "A" to "Z." 

Reading Prefixes

Some books have a prefix on their spine label which indicates that it is a specific type of material (such as Oversize) or indicates the location of the item (such as Tryon Rm). 

Prefixes for Location:

Dir. Office    See library staff at the Circulation Desk
LSR             Learning, Support and Retention (in Student Services building)
Juvenile      Children's books shelved in the carrel area across from the Reference Collection
Oversize      Books too large for normal sheving, located between Reference and Circulating
                    collections (included in Circulating Collection)
Ref               Reference Collection books (for use only in building)
Sm Bus        Customized Training and Development Center (Foundation building)
Tryon Rm     Old Tryon Historical Collection (Tryon Room, in Library's west wing) 

Prefixes for Specific Book Types:

 Basic Bk       Suited for adult basic readers
 Lg Print        Large print to assist the visually-impaired
 Nursing        For 
students of ADN or LPN nursing programs 


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