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Searching for Books and Media: Call Numbers

How do you find books and audiovisual media in the library?

Dewey Decimal System

GRCC and most public libraries use Dewey Decimal Call Numbers to arrange titles on book and audiovisual media shelves. 4-year colleges and universities usually use the Library of Congress Classification System to arrange their much larger collections. Whichever call number scheme is chosen, the goal is to help you locate materials on the shelf. 

The main classes, or categories, of the Dewey Decimal System are:

  • 000 – Computer science, Library & Information science, & general work
  • 100 – Philosophy and psychology
  • 200 – Religion
  • 300 – Social sciences
  • 400 – Language
  • 500 – Science
  • 600 – Technology
  • 700 – Arts
  • 800 – Literature
  • 900 – History,geography,&biography

Browsing the Library Catalog

Browsing the library shelves can be a pleasant and rewarding experience.  If you have an assignment that directs you to browse, go for it.  Otherwise, save time and check [RaiderSearch Catalog] for the call number for specific titles.

1. Virtually browse the RaiderSearch Catalog. Click the hyperlinked Dewey Decimal call number within a title of interest.

browse call number 1

2. You will see a Dewey Decimal call number sorted results list. Your chosen title is displayed in the middle of the screen (shown circled below) surrounded by titles which are shelved on either side of it.  Note, too, that while GRCC shelves Audiovisual Media and Reference Collection titles separately from the circulating Collection books, those formats are included in the Dewey Decimal Call Number sort.

The only book results you will not see in this type of list are e-books, since e-books are not assigned call numbers.

browse call number 2

Deciphering Dewey Decimal Call Numbers

Call numbers provide the "address" for a title on a library shelf.  Call numbers put materials on the same topic together on the shelf, making browsing more effective. If the title you identified in RaiderSearch Catalog is not on the shelf and is listed as being [Available], ask for assistance at the Library Circulation Desk.

Reference Call Number (Reference Collection Non-Circulating - 1st floor)

Reference Book Call #

 Nonfiction Call Number (Circulating Collection - 2nd floor)

Circulating Nonfiction Call Number

Biography Call Number (Circulating Collection - 2nd floor)

Biography Call Number

Audiovisual Media Call Number (Circulating Collection - AV - 2nd Floor)