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HC Libraries 101

Created by our Peer Research Consultants!

Finding and Checking Out Books

Finding Books Using Call Numbers

Found a book on CrossSearch or on the Holy Cross Classic Catalog and don't know where it is in the library?

Holy Cross Libraries uses the Library of Congress Classification, which means books are cataloged based on their subject.

A General Works M Music and Books on Music
B Philosophy, Psychology, and Religion N Fine Arts
Auxiliary Sciences of History P Language & Literature
D World History & History of Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, etc. Q Science
E History of the Americas R Medicine
F History of the Americas S Agriculture
G Geography, Anthropology & Recreation T Technology
H Social Sciences U Military Science
J Political Science V Naval Science
K Law Z Bibliography, Library Science, General Information Resources
L Education  

Cracking the Call Number Code:

1. Break it up! 

  • The first part of the call number matches up with the section in the library (see stacks map) where the book can be found.
  • The second part helps to locate the book within its designated section.
  • The last part is the year of publication.

2. "Spell" it out!

  • Books are organized alphabetically by the first letter(s), and then numerically by the number that comes after those letter(s).
  • If the first section of letters and numbers is the same, look to the next section. Books are organized alphabetically by the proceeding letters, and in decimal order by the proceeding numbers.

This is an example of what call numbers in our library look like. What can you tell about the ways these books are organized?




























  •  These books are located in the Lower Center Stacks. Their call numbers start with L, so we know that they will be about Education

The following details may help you:

  • Call numbers LA will be organized BEFORE call numbers LB.
  • Within the call numbers, the number 2327 will be organized before 2328.
  • After a decimal, signifying the separations of sections, organization is still alphabetical. .B will come before .C.
  • After a decimal, numbers are organized in decimal order. .C34 will come before .C55, and .C55 will come before .C554

Dinand Stacks Map

To find how the sections are divided up in Dinand, please refer to the Stacks Map below (also available for printing). Stacks Maps are also found at the Reference Desk in Dinand.

Detailed map of Dinand Stacks and Nevins Wing



You can check out books and DVDs for the entire semester. Please note that this is only for print books and DVDs. Some materials such as sheet music and graphic novels still have a shorter loan period (28 days).

To renew books, you can either go in person to the Circulation Desk of the library the books belong to or you can go online and log into your library account.

Please Note: On the day your book is due, you will no longer be able to renew online. If the due date for your book passes, you will need to contact the Dinand front desk in order to renew it. You can email or call 508-793-2642.

Other Items Available to You

Please ask at the circulation desk in each library to check out the following items. Items can usually be checked out for 4 hours at a time.

Dinand: Headphones, Phone chargers, MacBook chargers, Scientific and Graphing Calculators

Science Library: Headphones, Phone chargers, Scientific and Graphing Calculators

Music Library: Headphones, Vintage Casio keyboards, Metronomes, Portable CD/DVD drives with USB connections.

Worcester Art Museum (WAM)

Holy Cross students are able to borrow books from the WAM using your HC ID card and HC email address. Please visit this page or ask a librarian for more information.


For more information about borrowing/checking out books, please watch this video below.