Skip to Main Content
Skip to main content

University Libraries


More research tools:

Q. Finding books by call numbers

Search Help

Answered By: Matthew Reidsma
Last Updated: May 30, 2018     Views: 386

At GVSU, we use the Library of Congress call number system which follows a pattern like this:

PR 478 .W67

PR Read the first line alphabetically.
478 Read the second line as a whole number.
.W67 Read the third line alphabetically then as a decimal

If you are looking at the book in the catalog, it will list the library, the call number, and the floor on which it can be found. If it says ASRS, that means it is behind the service desk in the Automated Storage and Retrieval System. If you request it, the book robot (ASRS) will automatically grab it for you and you will be able to pick it up at the service desk.

Still can't find it? Don't sweat!
If you follow these steps and still can't find what you are looking for let us know. Stop by the service desk and we can return to the shelves with you and hopefully track the item down.

If you don't need the book immediately, you can always request the book through the online catalog, and we will pick it up and place it on a hold shelf for you.

Just interested in browsing the shelves? Find out where everything is located.

Mary Idema Pew Library
Second Floor

  • A: General Works
  • B: Philosophy
  • BF: Psychology
  • BL: Religion, Mythology
  • C: Auxiliary Sciences of History
  • CT: Biography
  • D: History
  • DA-DR: European History
  • E-F: United States, Canada, and Latin American History

Third Floor

  • G: Geography
  • GE: Environmental Sciences
  • GN: Anthropology
  • GV: Sports, Recreation, Dance
  • H: Social Sciences
  • HA: Statistics
  • HG: Finance
  • HM: Sociology
  • J: Political Science
  • K: Law
  • L: Education
  • M: Music
  • N: Visual Arts
  • P: Linguistics
  • PN: Literature, general

Fourth Floor

  • CURR: Curriculum
  • JUV: Juvenile Literature
  • PQ: French and Spanish Literature
  • PR: English Literature
  • PS: American Literature
  • Q: Science
  • QA: Math, Computer Science
  • QB: Astronomy
  • QC: Physics
  • QD: Chemistry
  • QE: Geology
  • QH: Natural Biology
  • QM: Human Anatomy
  • QR: Microbiology
  • R: Medicine
  • S: Agriculture
  • T: Technology, Engineering
  • TD: Environmental Technology
  • TR: Photography
  • U: Military Science

At Frey Library, journals and books are all located in 290 CHS.

At Steelcase Library, most of the books are located behind the service desk. You can browse popular reading and reference materials, as well as selections from the Johnson Philanthropy Collection, in the reading room.

Related Topics