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The Dewey Decimal System

Shelving and Re-Shelving

When books are ready to be shelved after their arrival in the department or re-shelved after a researcher has finished using them, it is of utmost importance that careful procedures be followed. Students shelving and re-shelving books are expected to pay careful attention not only to the call number, but also to the collection in which the book belongs. If  a Curio book is shelved in Mountain or a Mountain book shelved in Berea, to all intents and purposes, that is a lost book.

Books that are being re-shelved must be placed in their correct location on the shelves accompanied by a slip of paper with the initials of the person re-shelving somewhere on it. These slips of paper must be visible to persons within each range for purposes of checking accuracy periodically.

Always check to be sure the book is in the right collection: Mountain, Berea, Lincoln, or Curio.

If a book seems to belong at the end of a shelf, be sure to check the shelf below or at the top of the next rank.

Remember that call numbers starting with a capital letter (not small q or f) will be shelved between 822 and 823. Books already on the shelf in the 900s section may start with a capital B (for biography) between 929 and 930; new books will not have B for biography, but they may fit between older books that are labeled B instead of 929.

Try to keep the spines of the books aligned at the front of the shelf as you insert new items.

Books that do not fit on the shelf because they are too long or too tall or would stick out more than three inches should be placed on the lower shelf.


Exit Loans

Occasionally Special Collections materials are allowed to leave the building, usually on loan to another department on campus. All requests for exit loans must be referred to the Head of Special Collections or the College Archivist. All materials that leave the building must be signed out on an Exit Loan Permit Card.


Reserve Books

Books in the Mountain and Berea collections are sometimes able to be placed on reserve for use outside of the department’s regular working hours. These books are placed behind the circulation desk upstairs where students may access them and are not allowed to leave the library under any circumstance.

In the case of a reserve book request:

  • Verify that a copy is unavailable in general circulation within the library.
  • Verify that user has a current researcher registration card on file and that all fields are legible.
  • Locate books and wrap each book with the Special Collections Reserve Material slip (purple). Wrap around front cover ad tape using additional strip to prevent tape from sticking to book cover.
  • Take book(s) to circulation and have them placed on the Special Collections Reserve shelf. Faculty requests for use of books by classes should be given to the circulation manager for bar-coding and/or other processing.
  • Place SC&A Materials Pull Slip (green) and SC&A Reserve Book Slip (blue) in file box on desk in reading room after they are properly filled out until the material is retrieved from circulation.