The RECORDS in the LIBRARY CATALOG are the inventory and guides to locating the books, audiovisuals and other information sources in a library. There are numerous systems for making catalog records, and assigning subject heading and call numbers. These RECORDS contain information about each of the items held by the library. The content of a record will be similar whether it is on a card or on a computer screen like the MMU catalog.

CALL NUMBERS are found on each record and are the "addresses" for the books, videos, etc. found in the collection. Busse Library uses the Library of Congress call number and subject heading systems. Another commonly used call number scheme is the Dewey Decimal System. A CALL NUMBER is a unique combination of letters, numbers and punctuation (dots) for each item. They are arranged sequentially on the shelves, first alphabetical and then by number, alphanumeric segment and sometimes a year, within each alphabetical section. These are a code for the classification of the item and its author.

It is necessary to use the entire Library of Congress CALL NUMBER to find the specified item. An example of a call number is: GT 3930 .G73 1975

It will appear on the book in the Busse Library as:



Items with this type of call number will be found in the circulating collection of the library.

In the Busse Center Library, A through P are found on the main floor, east of the atrium. Q through Z are located in the same location on the lower level.

Some CALL NUMBERS will include more information to guide you to a location. For example, if the CALL NUMBER is followed by Ref., it will be found in the Reference section on the main floor and can be used only in the library. An example is: GT 3930 .G73 1975 Ref.

Videos, records, cassettes, kits, etc. will have Video, Kit or other similar designation as part of the call number.

CATALOG RECORDS also contain the following information to assist you in your selections:

Year of publication
Subject heading(s)
Notes about the contents and the library holdings and some times other information.


You may find items in several ways. The most common are by title/contents keyword, subject heading(s), author’s name or title. LIBRARY CATALOGS are including an increasing amount of information to describe items and their contents. Searchable contents notes in a record might include chapter titles and authors, individual works in an anthology, alternative titles to a work and other bits of information determined by the library owning the work. The purpose is to assist users find the desired item or piece of information.

The author, title, date, and publisher information is called the citation.


The Library of Congress Classification scheme is used by many libraries to assign call numbers to items with Library of Congress (LC) subject headings. Similar items are grouped together. Under each letter classification, number spans are used for more specific subjects. Each call number designates a single item in that particular library. An item (book, video, etc) may have a slightly different call number in other libraries.

The list found below contains selected categories to assist you in browsing the Busse Library collection. There are times when an electronic or paper catalog are not sufficient. Browsing and serendipity are still important ways to learn. Everything on a topic will not be found under one classification letter. Aspects of many topics are found under several classifications. However when a computer catalog is down, the LC subject heading system of main subject groupings is a good place to begin your search. The Guide to the LC Classification System on the WWW is also useful for a more in-depth explanation of the system.

AE General Encyclopedias
AY Almanacs
B Philosophy
BF Psychology
BJ Ethics
BL Religion
BM Judaism
BP Islam
BQ Buddhism
BR Christianity
BS Bible
CB History of Civilizations
CC Archaeology
CT Biography
D History by period followed by History by Region in Europe, Asia, Africa, Oceania
E History of North America
F History of Canada, Mexico, Central America, South America
G Geography
GF Human Ecology
GN Anthropology
GR Folklore
GV Recreation, Leisure
H Social Sciences
HA Statistics, Census Information
HB Economics
HF Business
HM Sociology
HN Social History
HQ Family, Marriage, Women
HT Communities, Classes, Races
HV Social Welfare (many different social issues including Criminal Justice are found here)
HX Socialism
J Governmental Documents
JC Political Theory
JF Constitution
JK US Government
JL Canada, Latin America
JN Europe
JO Asia, Africa, Australia, Oceania
JS Local Government
JX International Law
K Law
L Education
LA History of Education
LB Theory and Practice of Education
LC Special Aspects of Education
LD US Colleges and Universities
M Music
N Visual Arts
NA Architecture
NB Sculpture
NC Drawing
ND Painting
NE Prints
NK Decorative Arts
P Philology and Linguistics
PA Classical Languages and Literature
PC Romance Languages
PD Germanic Languages
PE English
PN Literary History, Criticism and Collections
PQ Romance Languages Literatures
PR English Literature
PS American Literature
PT Germanic Literatures
Q Science
QA Mathematics and Computer Science
QB Astronomy
QC Physics
OD Chemistry
QE Geology
QH Natural History and Biology
QK Botany
QL Zoology
QP Physiology
QR Microbiology
R Medicine
RA Public Aspects of Medicine--statistics, public health, forensic medicine, toxicology
RB Pathology
RC Internal Medicine
RD Surgery
RG Gynecology and Obstetrics
RJ Pediatrics
RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology
RS Pharmacy
RT Nursing
S Agriculture
T Technology and Engineering
TD Environmental Technology
TR Photography
TT Arts and Crafts
TX Home Economics
U Military
V Naval Science
Z Books, Writing, Library Science, Bibliography

In the Busse Center Library, senior student theses are shelved at the end of the Zs. Videos shelved on the first floor of the library have LC classifications and call numbers. They may be browsed by classification also.

Dewey Decimal Classification

The Dewey Decimal system is another type of system used to assign call numbers. Many school media centers and public libraries use it for their collections. Here at Busse Library, the Curriculum Center materials are listed by Dewey numbers. Health information for schools, children's books about illness, and other like items will have call numbers such as "j612 Ka5 q", the "j" indicating this system and their location in the Curriculum Center. Children's fiction call numbers include a code for the authors' names. The Dewey Decimal system is arranged in 10 major classes with specific subdivisions within each class. The About the Dewey Decimal System site will help you learn more.

The ten classes are as follows:

  • 000 Generalities
  • 100 Philosophy and Psychology
  • 200 Religion
  • 300 Social Science
  • 400 Language
  • 500 Science
  • 600 Technology
  • 700 Arts and Entertainment
  • 800 Literature
  • 900 Geography and History