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PHIL 5314: American Philosophy: Finding Books

This is the course guide for Dr. Olga Gerhart's American Philosophy 5314 class

Where in the library is my book?

After you've found a book in the catalog, you'll need to find it on the shelf. Each book has a Library of Congress call number that identifies where exactly it's located.

Library of Congress call numbers should be read one line at a time as follows:

Example of a complete call number, DA 36 .A55:

Line 1   DA
Line 2   36
Line 3   .A55

 

1. First, look at Line 1:

Books are arranged in alphabetical order, by the letters on the first line of the call number.

Example: first come all the D call numbers, then all the DA call numbers, then DB, etc.

An illustration showing three groups of books. The first groups all have the letter D on the spine. The second group have the letters DA on the spine. The third group have the letters DB on the spine.

2. Next, look at Line 2:

Within the DA call numbers, books are arranged in number order.

The numbers are arranged in numerical from low to high.

Example:

An illustration of five books standing in a line. The spines read, in order, DA 1, DA 2, DA 22, DA 36, and DA 38.

3. Then look at Line 3:

Line 3 of the call number has a letter and a number. The letters are in alphabetical order. Then read the numbers—but BEWARE!

The numbers are not whole numbers, they are DECIMAL numbers.

Example: A55 is read as A .55—this is why A55 comes before A6 (A .55, A .6, A .65, etc.)

An illustration showing six books standing in a line. The spines read, in order, DA 36 A5, DA 36 A55, DA 36 A6, DA 36 B21, DA 36 B212.

 

Search for Books & More in the Library:

Tips for Finding Books

Types of Searches

Keyword

  • Combine terms using AND.
  • This search returns records that contain words that match exactly what you typed in.
  • This is often (but not always) the best place to start.

Subject

  • Catalog uses pre-defined subjects. 
  • This type of search works well if you are browsing for a particular subject that you know or a broad term. So if you aren't finding anything, switch to the keyword search instead.
  • Subjects are arranged using the Library of Congress Classification system.

Author - Use the Author search when searching for primary resources.

  • Author searches are for looking for items a particular person has authored or written.
  • The library catalog works best if you type in searches in the format "Lastname, Firstname."
  • If you want books about a person, search for their name by subject.

Title

  • Use this search if you know the title of the material that you want.