Book retrieval for people with accommodation needs: We provide physical assistance with retrieving books from the stacks. For assistance, please call the O'Neill Library Circulation Desk (617) 552-8038 or email us at LibraryAccessfirstname.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 O'Neill 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, it's 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 bottom of spine of book Call number in lower left corner of cover of book
The chart below explains the location of the physical collections housed at the O'Neill Library.
|General Collection - A-DZ | Stacks, Stacks No Loan, Oversize||Floor 5|
|General Collection - E-PT | Stacks, Stacks No Loan, Oversize||Floor 4|
|General Collection - Q-ZA | Stacks, Stacks No Loan, Oversize||Floor 3|
|Popular Reading and DVD's||Floor 3 Lobby|
|7 Day Media||Floor 3|
|Circulation Desk Media||Ask at Floor 3 Circulation Desk|
|Course Reserves||Floor 3|
|Current Periodicals||Floor 3|
|Graphic Novels||Floor 1|
|New Books||Floor 1|
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: BV4501.3 .V53 2008
|Part||What is it||How do I use it|
|BV||General Subject||Read this line in alphabetical order, for example, BS, BT, BV, BX, C, CB, CC|
|4501.3||Specific Topic||Read this as a whole number|
|.V53||Author||Combination of letters and numbers. Read the letter alphabetically, read the number as a decimal number, for example, V53 comes before V6. Note, some call numbers are comprised for more than one combination of letter/numbers.|
|2008||Publication Year||Read this chronologically, for example, 1977, 1981, 2007, 2008|
Don't worry, you have several options:
Finally, if you are simply interested in browsing a particular subject area, cross-reference the Library of Congress Classification Guide along with the chart of collection locations listed above.