Physical items in the library often have call numbers, which are letters and numbers that provide information about the item, like the year it was published and its subject.

We mostly use the Library of Congress classification system for call numbers, which organizes items by subject with a letter for each general subject.

In Quick Search, in addition to call numbers, you will see the library location. For certain items, you will also see labels such as:

  • Federal Government Publications
  • Leisure
  • Reference
  • Physical course reserve
  • Standards

Using Map it to find your item

Many physical items have a Map it button which will show you which floor and which shelf your item is on. If you want to get the item yourself, you can take the call number and browse the shelf.

Getting your item off the shelf

Our general collections are open to the public and can be browsed by everyone.

Help us care for our items by removing books from the shelf carefully. When you find your book, push the books on either side back slightly, and grab the desired book in the middle of its spine. Or you can place an index finger firmly on the top of the pages and tip the book out. If you pull strongly at the top of the spine, the covering for the spine will break down.

Let us get it for you

If you want us to retrieve the book for you, ask us to hold it for you at the library location you choose.

Call number Location Subject
A - AZ Floor 3 General Works
B - BX Floor 3 Philosophy, Psychology, Religion
C - CT Floor 3 Biography
D - DR Floor 3 World History
DS - DX Floor 2 World History
E Floor 2 American History
F Floor 2 American History
Fed Gov Pubs Tier 2 Federal Government Publications
G - GV Floor 2 Geography, Anthropology, Recreation
H - HX Floor 2 Business, Social Sciences
ISU (theses) Library Storage Building ISU Theses
J - JZ Floor 2 Political Science
K - KZ Floor 2 Law
L - LT Floor 2 Education
Leisure Room 191  
M - MT Lower Level Music
Maps, Media, and Microforms Lower Level Maps, Audiovisual items, Microforms
N - NX Lower Level Fine Arts
P - PR Lower Level Linguistics, Languages, Literature
PS Lower Level American Literature
PT - PZ Tier 1 Germanic Literature, Children's Literature
Q - QA Tier 1 General Science, Mathematics
QB - QC Tier 2 Astronomy, Physics
QD - QE Tier 3 Chemistry, Geology
QH Tier 3 Biology
QK - QM Tier 4 Botany, Zoology, Anatomy
QP - QR Tier 4 Physiology, Microbiology
R - RB Tier 4 Medicine
RC - RZ Tier 5 Medicine
Ref A - Z Tier 2 Reference Collection A-Z
Reserves Main Desk Course Reserves
S - SD Tier 5 Agriculture, Plant Culture, Forestry
SF - SK Tier 5 Animal Science, Aquaculture, Hunting
Spec Coll Floor 4 Special Collections and University Archives
Standards Room 161  
T - TJ Tier 6 Technology and Engineering
TK - TX Tier 7 Engineering, Photography, Manufacturing, Consumer Sciences
U - UH Tier 7 Military Science
V - VM Tier 7 Naval Science
Veterinary Medicine Library 2280 College of Veterinary Medicine  
Z - ZA Tier 7 Bibliography and Library Science