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Start Your Research - A Self-Guided Tutorial

A tutorial to take you through the research process.

10 - Call Numbers

Why Do I Need a Call Number?

The call number is the book’s address in a library. Follow these steps to find a book on the shelf:

Screen Shot of IUCAT Holdings (Library, Call Number, Location)


  1. Check the item's library (Indianapolis or another IU library), call number, location, and status (next to location; stacks = available versus checked out = not available).
  2. Call numbers A-N are on the 3rd floor of University Library; call numbers P-Z are on the 4th floor.
  3. When you get to the correct floor, check posted signs for exact call number locations.

Call numbers are arranged in alpha-numeric order, left to right.

The call number is based on the item's subject, its author's last name, and publication date.

List of titles on the shelf - highlighting call numbers