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Research Guide: Books

Advice for getting started on a research project.

Finding Books on the Shelf

You may already have heard of the Dewey Decimal System.  Most high school and public libraries use this system to put the non-fiction books in order by subject.  For fiction, the books are arranged by author's last name, then title.  Things work a little differently in KCTCS libraries.  We use the LC (Library of Congress) Classification System to arrange books on the shelf.  Instead of using numbers, like Dewey Decimal System, LC uses a combination of letters and numbers.  The information on the spine of a book used to find it on the shelf is called a call number.

For example, the book How the Internet Happened has a Dewey call number (004.678 MCCU) and an LC call number (TK5105.875.I57 M381554 2018)

Dewey has 10 different classes, arranged in numeric order.  LC has 21 different classes arranged first in alphabetical order by class, then by number.

Dewey Decimal Classification

000-099

Computer science, information & general works

100-199

Philosophy & psychology

200-299

Religion

300-399

Social sciences

400-499

Language

500-599

Science

600-699

Technology

700-799

Arts & recreation

800-899

Literature

900-999

History & geography

 

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LC Classification

A General Works 
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
C Auxiliary Sciences of History
D World History and History of Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, etc
E History of the Americas
F History of the Americas
G Geography, Anthropology, and Recreation
H Social Sciences
J Political Science
K Law
L Education
M Music
N Fine Arts
P Language and Literature
Q Science
R Medicine
S Agriculture
T Technology
U Military Science
V Naval Science
Z Bibliography, Library Science, and General Information Resources