Friday, February 8, 2013

What's a "Call Number?"

Q: Why do all the books in the Holman Library have "call numbers" on them?  Why can't you just organize books alphabetically by title - wouldn't that be easier??

A: "Call numbers" group books of the same subject together on the shelves for easier browsing.  Imagine if you wanted books about the history of Iran called

Modern Iran: Roots and Results of Revolution
Iran Awakening: a Memoir of Revolution and Hope
Neither East Nor West: One Woman's Journey through the Republic of Iran

In an alphabetical system, you would have to go to the "I" section of the bookshelves to find one book, the "M" section to find another and the "N" section to find the third.  Pretty inefficient!

Call number group books on the history of Iran together in one place to help you conduct better research.  Books on Iraq, Iran's nearest neighbor, plus other books on the Middle East would also be shelved nearby since students doing research on Iranian history are also likely to be interested in the overall history of that region of the world.

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