Answered By: Scott Pieper
Last Updated: Aug 16, 2016     Views: 75

Each book has a call number, which appears on the spine of the book and is its "address" on the shelf. Like most colleges and universities, GSU Library uses the Library of Congress classification system. Books are not shelved alphabetically by title or author.

In the GIL-Find catalog, once you have clicked on the title of a book, you'll see a call number listed under the campus location. In the example below, the call number appears in the red box.

This call number is QC21.2 .F49 1989.  Let's look at each part of it:

1. The letters: QC

Each letter represents an area of knowledge. Q is the letter assigned to science and QC represents physics. The advantage of the classification system is that books on similar topics are grouped together on the shelf.

2. The number following the letters: QC21.2.

This specifies the area of physics, in this case general physics.

3. The letters after the decimal: QC21.2 .F49. 

The letter usually represents the authors last name, and helps to organize books within the same topic on the shelf. 

4. The last number QC21.2 .F49 1989

The last four digits are the year the book was published: in this example, 1989.


If you need assistance locating a book, please ask a library staff member.

More about call numbers