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Basic Information Literacy: Using the Catalog

A Sampling of New Books

Find new books on our book display on the main floor of the library.

Finding Books in the Library

Books in the library are organized according to the Library of Congress system, which means books are organized according to subject and labeled with a call number.  Call numbers are arranged alphabetically then numerically (see below example for more information).

To find books or other materials held physically within the library, please search the catalog for the item's availability and shelf location. 

Main Floor

  • Curriculum Collection:  Children's books
  • Reference Collection: Encyclopedias, handbooks, and dictionaries to be used in the library only.
  • Course Reserves: Items placed on reserve by a professor to be used in the library only.
  • Special Collections, African Collection, Lincolniana: Please inquire at the circulation desk.

Fourth Floor‚Äč 

  • Main Collection: Books that circulate to all borrowers.

Library of Congress Call Number Classification

The materials in the library are organized by the Library of Congress (LC) Classification System so that materials on similar subjects are shelved together. Each item is given a subject heading that corresponds to a call number which identifies the location of the item on a shelf. 

Items are arranged on the shelves from left to right, top to bottom, according to call numbers. Call numbers are read in this format:


Use WorldCat database to find books that the library does not own but can obtain for you through Interlibrary Loan.

WorldCat is an enormous online catalog that contains the catalogs of libraries from all over the world.  When you search this catalog it will show you results from our library and libraries that are near us first.  This is a great tool to see if another library in the area has the particular title you are looking for.  The catalog also contains digitized texts and archival materials, so it can be a great way to find primary sources.

Interlibrary Loan

Lincoln students, faculty, and staff may request to borrow material (ie. books, articles, media) from other libraries when Langston Hughes Memorial Library does not own the material. 

Fill out the request form to request materials.  Please fill out the request form as completely as you can.

Contact Ms. Bonnie Horn, Interlibrary Loan Technician, at 484-365-7356 for additional information or questions about ILL.