Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Student LMC Aides: Shelving How-to

A guide for all student aides for the LMC

How to Shelve Books in the LHS LMC

How to Shelve Books in the LHS LMC

It's harder than you might think, but easy once you know!

#1) If you don't know where a book goes, DO NOT be embarassed and DO NOT just put it anywhere!! That book will be as good as lost if you do this. PLEASE, Please, please do not put a book just anywhere.

#2) Look at the spine label of the book. This is where we put a sticker that has the book's call number on it. A call number is like a book's address and tells you where it belongs in the library!

#3) Sections of the LMC:

  • FIC - this is for all the fiction books. They are organized in ABC order, by the author's last name. Example, all books by J.K. Rowling have the call number: FIC ROW
  • 000-999 - this is the nonfiction section of the LMC. All books that start with a number also have a second part that has the author's last name. Example 306 RAS

All non-fiction books should be in numberical order. If you have multiple books with the same number, THEN you look at the author's last name.

Example: 306 ARN, then 306 BAD, then 306 SUR // There are also decimal numbers!! 306.2 is a bigger number than 306.02 so... 306.02 comes before 306.20 on the shelf  <-- This can

   *901 All of the biographies in the nonfiction section are in the 901 section, by the last name of the person they are about. For example, books about Martin Luther King, Jr. will be 901 KIN

  • S - All of the books in Spanish have a yellow sticker on them and start with "S" - they all go in the Spanish section of the library
  • GN - these go in the Graphic Nonfiction section, put them on the shelf in numerical order (from 0 to 1,000)
  • GF - Graphic Fiction section; put them on the shelf in ABC order by the author's last name (GF ARN to GF ZED)
  • E - Easy books! These books go in the special section for children's books. The first part is E ABC order, the second part of the shelf is E+numbers
  • PRO - This is for all books that go on the Professional shelf (for teachers); numerical order
  • REF - This is for all books that go on the reference shelves; numerical order
  • DVD, VHS, RD  - This is for all books on CD, DVDs, MP3 cases and VHS/ videos - FIC ABC order and then numerical order

#4) Practice shelving! PLAY "Order in the Library" online to practice and print/ turn in the certificates you "earn" with Ms. v

There's also this "Shelver" game:


#5) Read this: What is this Dewey Decimal thing all about anyway?

The Dewey Decimal system coordinates materials on the same subject and on related subjects to make items easier to find on the shelves. The system uses a combination of letters and numbers.

How does the Dewey Decimal system work?

The basic thing to remember about the Dewey Decimal filing system is this: file digit by digit – not by whole number. For example: 

•  451 
•  451.01 
•  451.012 
•  451.023 
•  451.04 
•  451.04217 
•  451.1 
•  451.136 
•  451.3 

451.04217 comes before 451.1 because 0 is smaller than 1. Take it number by number and stop when two numbers are different. So in the example of 451.04217 and 451.1, you would stop at the 0. That is the first number in the sequence that is different, and 0 is smaller than 1 so it will be placed first. Look at our example list again. Does it make more sense now?

 Also remember: nothing comes before something.  So when you are going digit by digit in a number and you have nothing else, it counts as a 0.  The number 451.01 is read as 451.010 when compared to 451.012.  


#6) When putting books on the shelf, make sure they're neatly lined up against the edge of the shelf, too! This makes it easier to read the book titles on the spines and for people to find what they're looking for more quickly!