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LS 102 Course Materials

Introduction to Information Research

Classification Systems

Sims Library uses three different classification systems. Each is described below. You will find the call numbers on a small white sticker on the spine of the book. If the book is very thin, it will be in the lower left hand corner of the front cover of the book.

The Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) can be easily recognized because it begins with a number. While it is now less common in university libraries, you will need to have a working knowledge of DDC because of its widespread use by school and public libraries. The Library of Congress Classification System (LC) was developed because using numbers alone limited the growth possible in DDC. LC utilizes a system of letters and numbers, but always begins with a letter or letters.

Another classification system commonly found in academic libraries is Superintendent of Documents (SuDoc) is used for government documents. Though it begins with a letter or letters, the items are grouped according to the agency or department of government that issues it. It is also the only system that uses slashes (/) and colons (:), therefore it can easily be distinguished from LC. Here is an example of how a popular government document would be classified in each system.

 
Occupational Outlook Handbook

LC

Dewey

SuDoc

HD 8051. A62 2008-09

331.124 Occ

L 2.3/4: 2008-09