Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Library DIY

I Do Not Know Where To Find A Call Number In The Library

There are three main things you need to locate a physical book: the IU library, the collection, and the call number

Screenshot of IUCAT

1. Identify the appropriate IU library. If the book is not on the Bloomington campus, or if it is housed in the 'Auxiliary Library Facility,' click the Request This button to have the book delivered to an IUB location.  


2. If the book is at an IUB library, look at the Collections Directory to locate the collection and the floor with the correct call number range.

If there is no call number:

  • If it is a print book, it is probably checked out. You might first search in IUCAT for another version of the book. If another version is unavailable, you may Recall the book or request another copy through Interlibrary Loan 
  • Electronic books will not have a collection or call number; instead click on the link for the Bloomington campus. 

3. Once you have the call number and the relevant library location, locate the book on the shelves

  • The IU Libraries' call numbers use an alpha-numeric system. Start with the first letter in the call number.
    (In the example above, that would be P.)
  • Within the P's, you will find just P, then PA, PB, PC... and so on down to PS.
  • Once you find the PS's, look for 3513. This is a whole number.
  • Once you find PS3513, look for the letter A.
  • Once you find PS3513 A, look for .6418 - and note that this number is a decimal number, not a whole number.
  • Keep going until you find your book!
  • The last number is often the year the book was published or the copyright date.


Questions? Ask a Librarian