Do you know how to search for books at your local library?
That may seem like a silly question but you’d be surprised how many people don’t know how to fully utilize their library.
For example, right by our front door is a computer! It has our catalogue pulled up 24/7 so if you can’t find a book you’re looking for, you can use that computer to search by author name and book title. You can even refine your search by genre or type of item, like CD’s, Movie’s, or Books. Our catalogue is even on our website so you can search to see if we have a book or series before you leave the comfort of your couch!
When you find what you’re looking for the next step is to look at what is called the ‘Call Number.’ This is usually located right above or next to the book title on our catalogue webpage. The Call Number in real life is usually found on the spine of the book. So what is a Call Number? It is a series of letters and numbers, that might look like gibberish if you don’t know how to read it. Call Numbers are used to organize a library’s collection. The library's Fiction Call Numbers start with an F followed by the first three letters of the author’s last name.
For example, the book Blue Moon by Lee Child’s call numbers would be F CHI. F because it’s a fiction book, and CHI for Child. You’d be able to find this book by going to the Fiction section and searching alphabetically by author’s last name.
But! There are multiple ways to classify a book, first we need to know what type of book is it? Is it for Young Adults? Children? Is it Nonfiction? Each one will have different Call Numbers meaning you need to make sure you’re searching in the right section when looking for a book.
Biographies at our library are marked with a special sticker and have their own section separate from the rest.
Young Adults also have their own section and will be labeled YA or YANF, meaning Young Adult Nonfiction.
Junior Fiction will be labeled JF, Junior Nonfiction would be JNF and both are located in different children’s sections, and so on.
It can be a lot to remember, so feel free to ask one of the librarian’s for help if you ever need it, we've memorized it all so we know how to get you going in the right direction!
Now here’s where most people get lost. Our Nonfiction (NF) collection uses the Dewey Decimal System.
The Dewey Decimal System was first published in the United States by Melvil Dewey in 1876. (Way to go Dewey, you had a whole System named after you that’s still used in 2021!)
This system can be a little hard to understand without visual aids so here’s a quick video done by Howcast, that even our staff take a look at whenever they need a refresher on how the system works!
And that’s a quick rundown on how to search your libraries shelves. Hopefully this information will help you find your next book even faster! Already know everything we’ve talked about in this post? Share it with someone who may not, it's useful information everyone should know!
If you have any questions be sure to stop by and visit us! We'll even sign you up for a free library card!