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Waidner-Spahr Library

Books in Waidner-Spahr Library: Finding Books

A short introduction to the Library classification system, in video and text.

Part 1: Where is my book in Waidner-Spahr Library?

To locate a book in Waidner-Spahr Library, you need to know the book's call number and location.

Call numbers and locations are displayed in the Library Catalog and JumpStart.

Most books in the Library have the location "Book Stacks, main and upper level," which means they are on the shelves in the Library ("stacks" is another word for "shelves").

The Library Map shows where books with a given call number are shelved.

Look at the letters at the beginning of the call number, and locate the associated range of letters on the map.

call numbers listed after authors in library catalog records; location is given after availability

For the book Nixonland, the call number is:

E855 .P47 2008

The Library Map shows us that this book is on the Main Level of the Library in the "DS-F" section.

Library maps are posted throughout Waidner-Spahr, and are also available at the Circulation Desk or can be viewed from the Library's website.

Signs at the ends of the shelves show the range of call numbers in each row.

Call Numbers are assigned by a book's subject area. So once you find your book, the books around it will usually deal with similar topics, and might be useful for your research.

Other Possible Scenarios

Other Book Locations in the Library

When you're looking at the catalog results for a book, you should take notice of the location listed for the book. Two common locations that are not the regular Stacks/Shelves are:

  • Oversized--these books are larger in size and are separated from the regular shelves. These can be found on the upper level by the East Asian Studies Room.
  • Reference -- these books cannot be checked out from the library. They live on a set of shelves on the main level behind the Biblio Cafe.

If you encounter another location in the catalog, or can't find a book for any other reason, ask the staff at the Circulation Desk or Ask a Librarian for help.

What if my book isn't on the shelf?

First, you should double-check the catalog to make sure the book isn't checked out. If it is checked out, you may be able to borrow a copy from another library (see the EZBorrow page of the Library Website).

If the book isn't checked out, you should go to the Circulation Desk so they can help you.

My book is checked out! What do I do?

You can usually borrow your book from another library, but this will take a number of days. If you need a book right away that deals with your topic, you should ask a librarian to help you find other resources for your research.

Video Tutorial: Finding Books

Ask a Librarian

Librarians: library@dickinson.edu
Liaison Librarians by Department

Circulation desk: 717-245-1397