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Frequently Asked Questions

Some of these Call Signs look like a code. How do I know what they mean?

Reading a Call Number

Each part of the Call # tells you more about where the book can be found. And yes, there might be a code! But you can decode it.

For example,

j 398.2


j  The letter before the numbers is a collection code that tells you in what area, or what special collection, the book is found. The ' j ' stands for 'juvenile', so this book is in the Children's Area.

398.2 is the subject number for folk tales and fairy tales. These Dewey Decimal System subject numbers help keep books on the same subject together. Books are in order by number on the shelves, from books with numbers starting with zero to those that start with 999.

LANG is the author's name. Since there are lots of fairytale books, the name or word after the number helps you find the book in ABC order once you have found the shelf with all those 398.2 books. 

Most books are easy to find in Fiction, alphabetically by author name, or in Nonfiction by number. Others are in special areas with codes that you can see below.

If you take a book off the shelf but don't check it out, you can leave it on a table for library staff to put away. Staff will make sure the book is put exactly where it belongs so the next person can find it.

Collection Codes Used in the Humboldt County Public Library System

In Eureka Main Library, all of these collections have their own special area. In a smaller branch library, collections may be combined (for example, mysteries and science fiction may be shelved together with other fiction.)

ATLAS  R    =   Atlas Case, Eureka Library Reference 

AUTO  R           =   Auto Repair Reference Collection in Eureka Library

AV ROOM         =   Audio-Visual Reference Books (shelved near DVDs)

BCD            =   Audio Books on CD, adult AV area

Board Books     =   Board Books for young children, with cardboard pages

CD                    =   Music on CD, shelved by musical genre

CHINESE         =   Chinese & Japanese Language Collection in Eureka Library, or if children's material, Children's World Languages collection.

CLASSICS       =   Arcata Library Classics Collection

CONSUMER  R  =  Consumer Reference Buying Guides, at Eureka Reference Desk

DESK  R          =  Ask at a service desk to use this reference book

E                      =  Children's Picture Books

E  ABC             =  Alphabet or Counting Books, Children's Collection

E  BEGINNING    =  Beginning Readers, Children's Collection

FICTION          =   Fiction Area

GOV. DOC R   =   Government Documents, Reference

HOLIDAY        =   Holiday books, shelved together by holiday, Children's Collection

HR                  =   Humboldt Room Collection at Eureka Library

j                       =   An item in the Children’s Area

J KIT               =   Children's read-along kits with book and tape or CD.

j R                   =   Children’s Reference Books, shelved at the Children's desk in Eureka Library

j SP                 =   Children’s Spanish Language Collection

JAPANESE     =   Japanese & Chinese Language Collection in Eureka Library, or if children's material, Children's World Languages collection.

jBCD               =   Children's audiobooks on CD

jBT                  =   Children's audiobooks on cassette tape

jDVD               =   Children's movies on DVD

jV                    =   Children's movies on video cassette

LANGUAGE BCD    =   Language learning kits with audio on CD

[Any LANGUAGE NAME, for example, Arabic]    =   Children's World Languages collection, by language name. See SPANISH, CHINESE, & JAPANESE for exceptions.

LITERACY     =   Adult-level readers, Literacy collection at Eureka Library

LT                   =   Large Type Books, books in large print.

MCN               =   McNaughton books (Extra copies of popular books)

MYS               =   Mystery Novels

O&W              =   Older & Wiser Collection, Fortuna Branch

OVERSIZE     =   Oversize books, shelved together because of their large size

PB                   =   Paperback

PERIODICAL ROOM    =   Eureka Library periodical back issues & reference materials, ask at 2nd Floor office.

PN                   =   Parenting Corner in Eureka Library Children's Room

REF DESK      =   Ask at the Eureka Library Reference desk to use this book

SET HAR         =   A volume of the Harvard Classics, shelved by call number

SF                    =   Science Fiction & Fantasy Collection

SPANISH         =   Spanish Language Collection

W                     =   Western Novels

YA                    =   Young Adult Collection

Show All Answers

1. I found a book in the online catalog. Now, how do I find it on the shelf?
2. Some of these Call Signs look like a code. How do I know what they mean?
3. How does the Dewey Decimal System work?