Get Started with Basic Research: Finding Books

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Library of Congress (LC) Call Numbers

Call Number Locations

The table below provides a quick guide where each call number range is located within the Alvin Sherman Library:

Library of Congress (LC) Call Number* Floor
A - HD69.3T46 3 (East)         
HD69.T46 - PQ 3 (West)
PR - Z 4 (West)
Dewey Decimal Call Number               
000-999 1 (East)

*Call numbers with the status LIB USE ONLY are located on the 2nd Floor.

Helpful Handouts:

Call Numbers Simplified

The Library of Congress Classification System uses a combination of letters and numbers to arrange materials on library shelves by subject.

On the label, call numbers are read in alpha-numeric order line by line from top to bottom.

Adapted from the Virginia Tech University Libraries Research Guide


sample catalog results listThe library's catalog, NovaCat, provides an inventory of all the items available at the library.

You can use the catalog to search for specific items by their title or author, or you can search for items on a specific topic using keywords.

From the results list, you can click on an entry to view an item's availability, location, and call number.

If an item is currently checked out by someone else, you can even place a hold on it to be notified when it is available.



NovaCat Search Tips:

NovaCat is the online library catalog for all NSU libraries. You will need to use the NovaCat Catalog to search for books.

  • If you do not find any results, then check your spelling or the fields you searched in.  Selecting different fields will produce different results.

  • If you find too many results, go back and limit your search. Sometimes a search needs to be modified with additional search words, searching only a specific field, adding date limitations, or type of materials.  You can search by keyword, author, title, etc.

  • If you find too few results, go back and expand your search. Consider using synonyms for your search words or try to use professional language or terminology.

Searching in NovaCat

Check Library Learn for more videos (like the one below) on how to search NovaCat for books, e-books, and other types of materials!

Related Library Guides: