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FUL Student Assistant Guide

This guide is intended to be a resource for student assistants of the James B Duke, Maxwell Music and Sanders Science libraries at Furman University.

Library of Congress Classification System

Libraries use classification systems to organize the books on the shelves. A classification system uses letters and numbers (call numbers) to arrange the books so that books on the same topic are together. Academic libraries use the Library of Congress Classification System (LC), which has 21 classes and over 225 subclasses, represented by letters.

Familiarize yourself with these classes and it will help you to find books and shelve more quickly.

Read call numbers line by line.

  • Read the first line in alphabetical order
  • Read the second line as a whole number
  • Read the third line alphabetically first, then as a decimal, eg: .C65 = .65  .C724 = .724
  • Some call numbers have more than one letter-number line
  • The last line is the year the book was published. Read in chronological order.
  • Remember: NEVER GUESS. If you're not sure what a call number says, ask us.

Ten Library of Congress call numbers in order on a shelf. On the first line, 'LA' before 'LB'.  On the second line, '2327' before '2328'. On the combination letter number line 'B' before 'C'. For the numbers after the letter on the combination line, '.55' before '.554' and '.554' before '.63'.  For the last line, '1987' before '1991'.

Image taken from The Online Library Learning Center website, a project of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia


Click HERE to take the Library of Congress Shelving Test, created by Kent State University. Proceed through each of the tests. Each page will increase in difficulty, as well as help you get a better grasp of the Library of Congress rules. Best viewed on desktop browser.


How many? and for How Long?

Overdue Fines and Borrowing

The library sends out overdue notices, but that does not mean items are not due until a notice is received. If a notice is not received, a patron is still obligated to return items on time or pay overdue fines. Patrons who do not return items after 30 days will be billed for the estimated cost of the item plus a $15.00 replacement processing fee. Patrons who do not return items or pay fines or charges incurred may be barred from checking out additional items, registering for classes, receiving a diploma and receiving transcripts.

Note: Borrowing privileges are suspended for patrons with fines totaling more than $50.

Fines may be paid in cash or check at the James B Duke Library on campus or mailed to Furman University marked Attention: Library - Circulation.


Hello? Who is this?

Customer Service

Some of the information above isn't specific to our libraries, but the basics are universal. We must be courteous and professional at all times, and when you don't know, ask someone! Pretty great!

Disability Sensitivity Training

This video was created by the District of Columbia Office of Disability Rights.