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College Writing Library Tutorial: Finding Books

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How Sadie Works

Library catalogs traditionally provide information about what individual libraries have in their collections.  With computerized check out, library catalogs also provide information on what is available and what is checked out.

As libraries have moved to online and other digital resources, library catalogs also provide direct access to resources.

Anatomy of a Call Number

Call numbers consist of a number or alphanumeric scheme which classifies the item by subject.  Cutter numbers represent the author or the title of a work. Sometimes the publication date is included.

Call numbers generally are unique and provide each item its individual location in the library.  

More About the Dewey Decimal System

Libraries use classification systems to organize materials by subject, the Hartzler Library is organized by the Dewey Decimal System

Dewey Decimal Classification 

This system divides knowledge into 10 broad categories.  Using a purely numeric system, these broad classes continue to be divided to identify narrower topics.  


303.69 - represents the subject area--in this case, conflict management

L473 - represents the author's last name alphabetically

w - this is a workmark and represents the title, placing works by the author in alphabetical order

2010 - publication date (not all libraries use this)