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Library "Do-It-Yourself" (DIY)

I do not know where to find a call number in the library

There are four main things you need to locate a physical book: the FAU Library Catalog, the FAU library location, the call number, and the availability.   

1, Go to the FAU Library Catalog.

2. Identify the appropriate FAU library location. Look at the full record (see below).  If the item is not located at your present FAU campus library, it may be borrowed through Interlibrary Loan.


Full record view shows location, call number, availability, and options for delivery to an FAU campus.

3. On the full record, look for the call number for the book (e.g., PS3511 .A86 L5 1959a).

Once you have the call number and the relevant library location, locate the book on the shelves

  • The FAU Libraries' call numbers use an alpha-numeric system. 
  • Start with the first letter in the call number. (In the example above, that would be P.)
  • Within the P's, you will find just P, then PA, PB, PC... and so on down to PS.
  • Once you find the PS's, look for 3511. This is a whole number.
  • Once you find PS3511, look for the letter A.
  • Once you find PS3511 A, look for 86 (which is treated as if there is a decimal point in front of the number).
  • Once you find PS3511.A86, look for the letter L.
  • Once you find PS3511.A86 L, look for the number 5.
  • Once you find PS3511.A86 L5, look for the number 1959a.
  • The last number is often the year the book was published or the copyright date.
  • Keep going until you find your book!

If there is no call number:

  • Electronic books will often not have a call number; instead click on the link provided with each electronic book. 
    If you are off campus, be certain to log into Off Campus Connect first, before trying to access an electronic book.

4.  Check for availability of a book at its "due date" column.

Questions? Ask a Librarian.