Card Catalog Tip Sheet


The card catalog contains a record of almost all of the books in the library.

You can look up something in the card catalog 3 different ways:

--by author (last name, first name)

i.e. Dahl, Roald

--by title of the book

i.e. James and the Giant Peach

--by subject



The card in the catalog will you give you information about the book like:

title, author, illustrator, subject headings (subjects the book is about, and that you can also look under to find more books like it), copyright date, size and number of pages of the book, if there are illustrations or photographs in the book, and a summary of the book (not always available).


More importantly, the card will tell you how to find the book in the library by giving you its CALL NUMBER. The call number is located in the upper left hand corner side of the catalog card.

For example, if you looked up James and the Giant Peach, the call number would look like

this: FIC "FIC" means you need to go to the FICTION section of the library and find

DAH the author's last name alphabetically in that section. "DAH" are the

the first 3 letters of the author's last name, and will also be on the

spine label of the book.


If you looked up a book on DOGS and found the call number saying this:

636.7 The number means you are looking for a NON-FICTION or true book. The

STE non-fiction section is in order numerically, from 001 up to 999.9999.

So you need to find the non-fiction section of the library and then look for

the right numbers. To find this book, you will need to find the 600 section.

There will more than likely be several books with the same number, but

the second part of the call number, the "STE" means the first 3 letters of

the author's last name to help you find the book.


If you see a call number saying: E This means you are looking for an EASY

SEU or PICTURE BOOK. Easy Readers and

Picture Books are in order by author's

last name, just like the fiction, but they

have their own section.

Sometimes books have special sections, like

MYSTERIES or BIOGRAPHIES that may be in different locations than just

FICTION or NON-FICTION. Ask the library media specialist if you can't

find what you are looking for!

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