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A Basic Guide to Getting Started at the Library: How Materials Are Shelved

Library Materials

The library has a number of circulating and non circulating collections.  Circulating items can be checked out with a student id card that has a current enrollment sticker.

  • Reserve collection : Consists of textbooks located at circulation desk. Items can be checked out for 2 hours at a time.
  • Media collection : Consists of dvds, vhs, headphones, and chromebooks located at circulation desk.  Items can be checked out for 3 hours at a time.  An agreement form must be filled out before chromebooks can be checked out.
  • Circulating collection : Consists of books located on the left side and back of library. Items can be checked out for two week periods.  
  • Zines and Periodicals:  The library has a small collection of zines and magazines that can be viewed in the library and cannot leave the library.  Zines and periodicals located to the right of the reference desk.  
  • ESL collection:    The library has a collection of  materials for those studying English as a second language located to the right of the reference desk.  Items can be checked out for two week periods.
  • Short Introductions and Graphic Novels :  The Library has a collection of short introductions to various subjects as well as graphic novels  located to the right of the reference desk.  Items can be checked out for two week periods.

Library of Congress Classification System

Berkeley City College Library uses the Library of Congress classification system to assign call numbers by subject. 

You can think of a call number as a book's address on the shelf. The first line in a Library of Congress call number classifies the item by its subject according to the LC Classification System. The entire call number should be noted in order to locate the item.

  • LC call numbers are first arranged alphabetically, according to the letter or letters at the beginning of the call number, which correspond to the subject matter of the item. 
    • Example: Call numbers beginning with P are followed by PA, PB, PC, etc.
  • Within the alphabetical section, books are arranged by the number(s) that follow. Notice that these numbers are regarded as whole numbers. For instance, PS 1200 comes after PS 345. 
    • Example: QA 56 before QA 234 before QA 234.57 before QA 234.8
  • The next lines are alphabetic, then numeric as a decimal. The numerical part of this section is a decimal number, not a whole number. Use alphabetical order first, then the decimal extension to put the call numbers in correct sequence. (A3113 would come before A4, because 0.3113 is smaller than 0.4.) 
    • Example: HV 1431 .B7 before HV 1431 .B83 before HV 1431 .F25 before HV 1431 .F7
  • Editions are often arranged by date or by the date and letters. 
    • Example: PS 3525 .I52 1971 before PS 3525 .I52 1973 before PS 3525 .I52 1973a