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Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions on the introduction of the Library of Congress Classification (LCC) at the Humanities Library.

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Maria Heijne (Library Director) attaches first LCC label, 6 June 2016

The Humanities library changes to a new shelving system

Late April 2016, the Humanities library started the relabelling of its collections in P.C. Hoofthuis and UB Singel. All books and journals will get new spine labels and will be shelved according to the scheme of the Library of Congress, the national library of the United States. It is expected that the reshelving will last until the end of September 2017.

Why is the library changing to a new system?

Right now the books are placed in 34 subcollections, each with their own shelving system. This makes it hard for new staff and students to find a book quickly. By  introducing a single system, it will become simpler to find your way in the Humanities collection.

Why was the Library of Congress system chosen?

The Library of Congress Classification (LCC for short) is not only used by the Library of Congress, but also by a large number of academic libraries around the world. Because the system is so widely used, many new books already have an LCC code. In that case, the library staff no longer have to assign the code, so that the book will become available sooner for the user.

How does the Library of Congress system work?

The LCC has 21 main categories, each with a number of subcategories. You can find the LCC outline on the LCC website.

How will I be affected by the reshelving?

The books will be reshelved in order of the old shelving system, collection by collection, as much as possible. Sometimes, however, because of logistics, different collections will be reshelved simultaneously. The relabelled books will first be placed at a temporary location and later be shelved at their definitive location on the shelves. The signposting will help you find a book in its temporary or definitive location.

Will the books get a new location?

Yes, after being relabelled the book will be placed at a different location. The books will be reshelved according to the LCC shelving system.

Maps, signs on the bookcases and in the library will help you to find the relocated books.

How long will a book be unavailable?

Most books will be available again after two days. Some books will take longer. Do you need a book urgently and is it not yet available? Please, contact the staff at the library desk of P.C.Hoofthuisbibliotheek or UB-GW-collecties.

How can I find a book?

The online catalogue shows when a book has been reshelved. You cannot find a book? Please, ask at the desk of the library where the book is and when it will be available again.

More information?

Published by  Library UvA

10 March 2017