Interested in local history?
Sign up for this fascinating course on Illinois and local history
Illinois scholar and Harper College Librarian,
Professor Jim Edstrom
History 219, Section 001
Tuesdays and Thursdays 3:05-4:20 PM (3 Credit Hours)
(For more information, see http://www.harpercollege.edu/~jedstrom)
Northeast Center Reading Room
Doors open July 5,2010
Mondays-Thursdays 4-8 pm
· Librarian on duty
· Children’s books
· Popular Magazines (English & Spanish)
· Paperback exchange
· ESL collection (Easy readers, etc.)
· General Reference books (Encyclopedias, Dictionaries, etc.)
· Computers with access to Library databases & Microsoft programs
The Library of Congress Classification System Demystified
Some of you may be wondering what this weird system of numbers is and how to use it. I know I was confused when I was a new student here at Harper and I tried to find information in the Library. But it is not just new students who are confused. Many students and staff are used to the Dewey Decimal System (DDS) that is used most public libraries. When I did a survey of five students here at the Library and none of them knew how to use the Library of Congress System. .
Those of you who are used to the Dewey Decimal System might look for a book on Religion in the 200 section of the library or languages in the 400 section. Wikipedia explains that “the Dewey Decimal System attempts to organize all knowledge into ten main classes. The ten main classes are each further subdivided into ten divisions, and each division into ten sections, giving ten main classes, 100 divisions and 1000 sections. Dewey Decimal System’s main advantage in using decimals for its categories allows it to be both purely numerical….”
You may be wondering why Harper’s Library uses the Library of Congress and why it is so important. According to Jim Edstrom, who is a Librarian here at Harper, there are a few reasons why it is used. First, it is used because it narrows down on a more defined audience. For example, almost all of the books in the Harper library are specifically for a certain kind of class or classes that are offered. In a public library, the library has to offer more books for a wider audience. Secondly, the Library of Congress Classification System can add more classes and sub-classes as needed. The Dewey System is not as flexible. Lastly, the Library of Congress is commonly used in academic libraries or school libraries.
So now that we have covered why it is important, you may be asking yourself, how do I use it? Well, firstly, the categories are split into twenty-one lettered categories. Here is a helpful website to help you understand what the categories are and the sub-categories. http://www.loc.gov/catdir/cpso/lcco/ Then, after they are split into those categories, they are then split further into sub-categories. For example: if you were looking for a book about medicine, but more specifically about Pediatrics and even more specific than that is, premature infants. Okay, so the category for medicine is R and Pediatrics is RJ, then premature infant’s call numbers are RJ250- 250.3. So the call number would look something like this:
So now that you know a little bit about the Library of Congress Classification System, maybe you won’t be that student wandering around the library looking for a book in the wrong section. I hope this was helpful and you will be able to find your books more easily. Good Luck!!
Fall into a Good Book
The Harper Library has a special collection of leased books available for use by anyone with a Harper Library Card. The leased book collection consists of newer releases of popular fiction and non-fiction. The books are selected from the New York Times Best Seller List, People Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and suggestions from our loyal readers. The books are here for your reading pleasure.
If you would like to suggest a book to be added to the leased book collection, please contact Karen Evans at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Harper College Library is pleased to provide it’s users with another premier online reference database– Credo reference. “Credo Reference enables users to find authoritative answers fast. It features content from hundreds of reference books in a broad range of subjects. Credo Reference has been named an outstanding electronic reference work in 2008.”