Friday, March 16, 2012

Finding books in the library

Our library has about 20,000 items, including books, journals, reports, audio-visual material and so on.  Organising 20,000 resources in a way that allows you, the library user, to locate one specific resource quickly and easily is something of a challenge!  Here at ITB Library we use two things to do this: a classification system and a database of resources.

The classification system refers to where we physically locate the books and resources.  We use the Dewey Decimal Classification System - each book is assigned a class number based on the main subject of the book.  These numbers range from 000 to 999.  For instance, language books have a class number between 400 and 499 (English books from 420 to 429, German books from 430 to 439, French books from 440 to 449, Spanish books from 460 to 469).  The books are shelved in order of their class number.

We also have a database of resources, or a library catalogue.  This catalogue contains important details about each resource such as the title, author, table of contents etc.  It also contains the class number of each book.  So, when we search the library catalogue for a specific book, we find the class number and can track the book to its shelf location. 

And that's how you find one specific item the middle of the 20,000 items in the library!

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