Book retrieval for patrons with accommodation needs: We provide physical assistance with retrieving books from the stacks. For assistance, please call the Bapst Library Circulation Desk (617) 552-3200 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
It can take time to become comfortable navigating library collections. Here are some tips for locating physical materials.
Most books and media in Bapst are assigned a classification number or call number, based on the subject of the material, the author and year of publication. The call number is used to organize collections and you will need to use it to locate the material that you need. For a more detailed explanation, take a look at our guides that cover using the catalog and getting your items.
To look up an item call number, check the library catalog.
Once you have determined the collection where your item is located, its availability, and the call number, you will need to visit the stacks. Call numbers are typically attached to the spine or the bottom left-hand corner of the front cover. See images.
Call number at the bottom of the book spine
Call number in the lower-left corner the front cover
The chart below explains the location of the physical collections housed at the O'Neill Library.
|General Collection - AM, NX, TR||Floor 4 (Gargan Hall)|
|Book Displays (2)||Floor 3 (Kresge Reading Room and Bapst Lobby)|
|Course Reserves||Floor 3 (Bapst Information Desk)|
|Current Periodicals||Floor 3 (Kresge Reading Room)|
|Graphic Novels||Floor 3 (Kresge Reading Room)|
|Reference||Floor 3 (Kresge Reading Room)|
|General Collection - N-NE, NK, and ALL Oversize||Floor 2 (The Art Stacks)|
Call numbers serve as the code for finding physical items on the shelf. The chart below explains how to interpret a call number and locate the material that you need.
Example: NC1764.85 .D63 2012
|Part||What is it||How do I use it|
|NC||General Subject||Read this line in alphabetical order, for example, AM, N, NA, NB, NC, ND, NK, TR|
|1764.85||Specific Topic||Read this as a whole number|
|.D63||Author||Combination of letters and numbers. Read the letter alphabetically, read the number as a decimal number, for example, D63 comes before D7. Note, some call numbers are comprised for more than one combination of letter/numbers.|
|2012||Publication Year||Read this chronologically, for example, 1965, 1983, 2008, 2012|
If you would like to browse a particular subject area, see the Library of Congress Classification Guide along with the chart of collection locations listed above.