Finding Books Made Easy

By Georgi Bordner, Head of Technical Services

Response GraphicIn our 2015 survey, we learned that some of you have trouble finding your way around the Library and locating the materials you need. We received comments such as:

  • “The second floor needs better signage for each book section. The organization is confusing and doesn’t follow the methods in public libraries.”
  • The Library is “not completely intuitive with where to find things.”

We understand that the Library of Congress Classification system (LCC), used by Regent and most other universities, may be confusing to those of you that are more accustomed to the Dewey Decimal system, used by most school and public libraries. But it’s really not hard once you get used to it! While Dewey uses numbers to define broad subject areas (such as 200 for Religion or 230 for Theology), LCC does the same thing with letters (B for Philosophy, Psychology, and Religion and BT for Theology). The first letter in each classification number represents a very general subject area or discipline, with an additional letter (or two) to break it down into more specific subject areas. Combined with numbers representing the most specific subject divisions, the LCC system allows large libraries to deal with a larger number of subjects, making it easier to find exactly what you’re looking for.

Here’s a very general outline of the LCC subject divisions, to give you an idea of how it works. If you’d like to explore the LCC system in more detail, check out:

A – General works
B – Philosophy, Psychology, Religion
C – Auxiliary Sciences of History
D – World History and History of Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, etc.
E-F – History of the Americas
G – Geography, Anthropology, Recreation
H – Social Sciences
J – Political Science
K – Law
L – Education
M – Music
N – Fine Arts
P – Language and Literature
Q – Science
R – Medicine
S – Agriculture
T – Technology
U – Military Science
V – Naval Science
Z – Bibliography, Library Science, Information Resources (General)


Quick guide to Library of Congress Classification system

The best way to find books on a specific subject is always to look up the subject in the Library’s catalog to find the exact classification number. Once you find one book on your subject, others on the same subject will be shelved in the same area. But if you prefer to just browse the shelves to see what you can find, help is on the way! Posters illustrating the full LCC outline are being hung around the Library, and we are preparing additional signs that will make it easier for you to find your way around the stacks to the subject sections you need. We hope to alleviate your confusion so that you will never be lost in the Library again!