Library Tutorial for ENGINEERING 100

1. Introduction

2. Why use the Library?

3. Library Password

4. Boolean Searching

5. Library Catalog
  • How to Find Books
  • How to Find Journals

6. Databases
  • Search for Articles
  • Find Articles

7. Discipline Specific Resources

8. Web Resources

9. How to Get Help

10. Library Exercise

Understanding Call Numbers

Library Call Numbers are used to find books and other Library materials. Every item in the Library has a unique call number that serves as an "address" for that item. An understanding of Call Numbers and their underlying meaning can help you use the Library more effectively.

Call Numbers also provide information about the subject content of the item. The Cal Poly Pomona Library uses the Library of Congress (LC) Classification system. Engineering books are classified in T (Technology). The T section is then subdivided into sub-sections corresponding to the major engineering disciplines, for example: Civil (TA), Electrical (TK), Mechanical (TJ). Take a look at this table showing the LC organization for engineering and science.

The Library Catalog will provide the Call Number and the floor where the book can be found.

The screen shot below is the record for Engineers' Guide to Rotating Equipment, found on the 3rd floor with the Call Number TJ266.M38 2002.

To find this book, first go to the appropriate floor (3rd). Then find the section designated by the letters in the call number: T, TA, TC, TH, TJ... Once you get to the alphabetic section, go by the numbers, usually 1 through 9999. This part of the call number (TJ266) represents the subject content of the book. The rest of the call number differentiates all the books on that subject by author and publication date.

Can you find this book...

catalog record for TJ266M382002 the photo below? Most people find it much easier it is to read call numbers when they're written vertically as on the book labels in the photo.

photo of books showing call number labels

Knowing about Library Call Numbers can be useful:

  • Call numbers can help you identify the subject focus of the book. For example: Books with Q (Science) call numbers will have a scientific or theoretical orientation. Books with H call numbers focus on the business or economic aspects of a topic.
  • If the book you want is checked out or missing, go to the call number section anyway. You'll find more books on the same subject and will likely find something you can use.
  • A little knowledge of call numbers will help you find your way around the Library on the rare occasions when our computer system is down.


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Questions or comments? Please contact:
Ann E. Morgan * (909) 869-4670 * *