How Libraries Organize Materials

Two Systems

There are two main systems that California community college libraries use to organize materials on the shelves: the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) and the Library of Congress Classification (LCC, sometimes also informally called LC or LOC). Both classification systems provide a systematic way for the libraries to keep their materials organized.

Which classification system a library uses depends on local preferences and practices, but in general: academic and research libraries typically use the Library of Congress Classification, while public libraries tend to use the Dewey Decimal Classification. While we will introduce you to both systems, please note that your community college library probably only uses one of these.

A student walking through the library stacks

Sources

Image: “Man, Backpack, Books” by bantersnaps is in the Public Domain, CC0

License

Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Introduction to College Research by Walter D. Butler; Aloha Sargent; and Kelsey Smith is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.