Finding Books: Finding a Book on the Shelf

Call Numbers by Floor (Murray Library)

Call Number Floor Building Wing
A - AZ


B - BX, C - CT 4 South
D - DX, E, F - FC,
G - GV
4 South
H - HD 5 South
HE - HX 3 South
J - JZ, K - KZ,
L - LT,
M - MT, N - NX
6 South
P - PQ  3 North
PR - PZ  2 North
Q - QR, R - RZ,
S - SF, T - TX
5 South
U - UH, V - VT 4 South
Z - ZA 6 South


Finding a Book on the Shelf

The majority of the books at the University Library are filed in Library of Congress Call Number order.

When you look at a book's record in the online catalogue, it displays the call number on one line like so:

An example of a book's catalogue record. The call number is circled in red. The call number is a horizontal row of letters and numbers.

When you look for a book on the shelf, the call number will be arranged vertically on the spine of the book, usually divided into four lines:

A close-up picture of the spine of a book. There is a label with the book's call number arranged in a vertical column with four lines of alternating letters and numbers

Read the call number from top to bottom, left to right, line by line.

First line is one or two letters, read alphabetically.
Second line is a whole number (from 1 to 9999)
Third line is a decimal number, not a whole number (i.e. K89 comes before K9)
The fourth line may be either another decimal number, or it may be the date that the book was published.

The following video (by Douglas College Library) will teach you how to read call numbers:

Other Types of Call Numbers

There are a few special collections in the library that use different types of call numbers.

Books on Reserve

Did your professor tell you that there's a book On Reserve for your class?

Search for Books on Reserve for your Class.

Type the course name or number you want to find, then hit enter!


In the Murray Library, you have to go into the Reserve area behind the Check-Out desk on the ground floor and find your own reserve items. There is a separate check-out area there just for reserve items.

In most other library branches, reserve items are kept in the staff area behind the desk. You will have to give the item's call number to the library staff member on duty, and he or she will retrieve it for you.