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Library of Congress Classification Tutorial: Tutorial Six: Shelving

Learn the basics of Library of Congress Classification with these brief tutorials.



There are book carts for shelving books located throughout the library. Usually, there are at least two behind the circulation desk. Start your shelving rounds with the cart behind the circulation desk, as this typically has the most books from patrons returning books to the library. Also collect and reshelve books that have been left on the study tables.

One thing that should be done before shelving the books is ordering the books on the cart. This way, the shelver does not have to run all over the library shelving the books. If they are ordered before they are taken out, it makes the shelving process considerably more efficient.

Shelving a book is simply putting that book back where it belongs using the LCC system. The main stacks are arranged by subject (A-Z). Each row of shelves has a sign that states the general LCC range in that row.

Please note that all books marked “Ref.” on the spine belong in the reference area. A “Ref.” book should never go in the circulating stacks area; likewise, a book for the circulating collection should never go in the reference stacks. These are the most commonly mixed up books, but also be mindful of books marked Reserve or oversized books.

When you find the "correct" place for the book, double check the shelf order. Sometimes the books on the shelf are out of order and the entire row or rows need to be ordered. If you shelve a book in an area that is not in order, it only multiplies the chaos, so shelf-read as necessary.