Locating an Item
These are instructions for locating an item you have discovered through the CUNY Catalog.
First, make sure that you are on the correct floor. In the catalog record, look in the Location column. It may say:
- Stacks (Call # A-L Level 4; Call # P-Z Level 5)
- Reference Level 3
- Periodicals Level 1
- Borrowing Level 3*
- Art Stacks Level 6
- Juvenile Level 4
- Media Ctr. Video Level 1*
* You must ask for assistance at the desk on the appropriate level to access items on reserve or in the media center.
This tells you on what floor (level) the item can be found. For instance, if a book is in the stacks, you would want to check level 4 if its call number begins with a letter prior to L in the alphabet, and level 5 if its call number begins with P or a later letter.
If you would like to know where your item is on that floor, please see this map of the library.
If you need help reading call numbers, please see this tutorial.
If you still need help, please ask one of our student assistants. They can be readily identified by their red vests.
Browsing for Materials
Dictionaries, encyclopedias and other reference materials on all topics can be found on Level 3. Journals, newspapers and magazines are stored on Level 1 and circulating books can be found on Levels 4 and 5, with the first half of the alphabet (A-L) on Level 4 and the remainder (P-Z) on Level 5. Materials relating to music and art are located in the Music Library and the Art Library, respectively.
Most books in the library are organized according to the Library of Congress Classification scheme. This system is a standard shared by many academic libraries throughout the United States. Below is a list of popular topics and their place in the classification scheme. If your topic is not listed here, please try the official classification schedule on the Library of Congress home page.
- Philosophy, psychology and religion
- History of Europe, Asia and America
- History of the Americas
- Social sciences, including statistics, economics and sociology
- Political science
- Music (Collection is in the Music Library)
- Art (Collection is in the Art Library)
- Language and literature
- Physical sciences, including mathematics, physics, geology, biology and physiology
- Technology, including textile industries, consumer science and nutrition
- Military and naval science
- Library science and bibliographies
If you cannot find an item in its place on the shelf, please speak to the staff at the Borrowing desk. They will supply you with a search card, which allows us to conduct a thorough search and notify you if the item is found.
For more information, please contact: