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.

English Programs for Internationals

This guide is designed for short research projects for EPI students.

The Code in the Call Number

Each book has a unique call number.  We say "call number" even though the ones in Thomas Cooper Library begin with a letter.

Call numbers are a code so materials on the same topic can be shelved together. 

Wonder what those beginning letters mean in a call number?  We've got a handout  or there's more detailed information from the Library of Congress.

Search for a Book -- First Step: Know the Call Number

Find the call number by searching Find It@USC. Be sure to note the location and write the entire call number. For easier books, click on the Location, Columbia Cooper Juvenile.  For books in the Juvenile Collection, it'll help if you also have the title and author of the book.  When you are in the right call number section, you can read the titles of the books instead of the call numbers.

Where in Cooper is my Call Number?

Check the chart near the elevators in Thomas Cooper Library to find out what call numbers are on which levels. What most people call floors are called levels in the library.   A-D level 1, E-L level 2, N and P level 3, Q-Z level 4.

 

On each level near the elevators you'll find a floor plan.  See the floor plan maps for level 1, level 2, level 3, and level 4.

Other locations in Thomas Cooper Library:

Juvenile (picture books to young adult) Level 1
Popular Films Main Level, near elevators
Popular Reading Main Level, near exit
Reference Main Level
Reserves Main Level, ask at Circulation desk

 

Finding your Call Number on the Shelf

- Begin with the letter or letters.  A comes before AE which is before B, etc.

                       B 1                   BC 5                 BD 21              BF 1    

     Look at the end of the ranges to find the first and last call number on that row of shelves.  You are getting closer!

- Then by the numbers that come right after the letters.  The numbers are shelved in numeric order.

                 BF 1                 BF 11               BF 21             BF 112


- Then in alphabetical order and decimal order.  The call numbers below are arranged in correct order because .73 is smaller than .8

 

BF21

.A1

BF21

.B6

BF21

.C73

BF21

.C8

- There may be another line of letters and numbers.  If so, these will also be in alphabetical and then decimal order.

 

BF21

.C8

.K3

BF21

.C8

.K36

BF21

.C8

.M4

- Then by year of publication if one is given.

              BF21               BF 21

             .C8                   .C8

             .M4                  .M4

              1962               1990