When you have completed reading/reviewing the following filing rules you may
wish to try the self-administered tutorial to test your comprehension of these rules.


The majority of the books in the St. John's University Library are arranged on the shelf by a system used at the Library of Congress (LC). This number appears, usually, at the bottom of the spine, on a white label; or, on the lower left corner of the front cover if a book is thin. Following are examples of LC labels.

Ref. The label illustrated above left indicates the book is located in the Reference Room. The label illustrated to the right indicates the book is a circulating book and belongs on the third floor.

Please click here for a full listing of library locations. When clearing tables always be on the lookout for books from other departments; and, make sure books get returned to their proper department.

AS The first line of the label (the second line if there was a location designator) begins the LC number and it contains one, two or three letters.

For example, A, AS, B, K, KFX, L, Z etc.

The first sort is by these letters. The line above is sorted in the proper order. e.g. A always comes before AB and AB always comes before B.

911 The next line is always a number. After sorting books alphabetically by the first line, sort then by the number on the second line.

For example: 5, 21, 911, 1013.3, 5031, etc.

.A2 The following line or lines contain a letter and a number and are read first alphabetically and then in decimal numeric order.

For example: .A1, .A2, .A213, .A3, .A3123, .A4 etc.

1994 Following the above information there may be a year. File chronologically only after the above sorting is done.

In order to find an item on the shelf using its call number, you must read each part of the call number, line by line, starting with the first line until you have ordered the entire call number. Reading from left to right, the following call numbers are in correct shelf order.

When trying to locate a book:

  1. Notice its LOCATION (first line of the label - if no location is given it is a circulating book and will be found on the third floor.).
  2. Then read the call numbers line by line
    1. Alphabetical Line
    2. Numerican line
    3. Alpha Numerical Decimal Line
  3. There may be an additional Alpha Numerical Decimal Line
When you have completed reading/reviewing the above filing rules you may
wish to try the self-administered tutorial to test your comprehension of these rules.