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InfoGuides | Pepperdine Libraries

International Programs Student Worker Guide: Managing Physical Collection

Managing the physical collection 

- Keep track of the collection

- Inventory (see modified inventory project in the introduction)  

- Reshelve books and keep them in order (See Shelving & Reading Call Numbers) 

 -Map the book organization at your library... (See modified inventory project in the introduction)  

- Incorporate newly purchased materials into the collection (mark arrived materials on your google sheet, label, and shelve items).

Modified Inventory PROJECT

We need to know how students are finding and using your library’s physical collection.

Defining finding and using:

Finding- Do they ask you to find books for them, do they search the catalog on their own, or are they going straight to the shelves skimming the collection.  Additionally, are looking for specific books (one professor have required for example) or are they searching for any book on a topic.

Using- Do they read materials in the library or check them out. If the latter, are more books checked out via the honor code system when you’re not there (i.e. you come in for your shift and see from the log that students have check-out materials) or do they wait to check out item during your shifts? Do you suspect students take material out of the library without recoding so on the form?  

PROJECT: Please monitor and find a way to gather information that will answer the above questions.

Process for incorporating newly purchased materials

Process for incorporating newly purchased materials 

  • Booking belonging to Pepperdine should have Pepperdine University stamped on the pages, a Barcode, and a Call Number. 
  • Instead of using the term "labels" please specify if you're talking about the Barcode, Call Number, or Both. 
Each of you has access to IP Orders FY20, this is a Google Sheet for tracking newly ordered books. Each IP location has a tab, your location's page may be blank if nothing has been ordered.
Mailing, Processing and Form Communication Process: 
  • Malibu Payson Saff enter book information, indicate when items are orderednd and from what vendor
  • Malibu Payson Staff will enter when shipping and Est. Deliver dates
  • IP Student Worker (or IP staff during summer) will indicate when items are received
  • Malibu Payson Staff will ship Barcodes and Call Numbers once enough books have been delivered 
  • IP Student Worker - will mark when Barcodes and Call Numbers arrive. 

Note about Google Sheet's name:

years are bit confusing, curtly the Year is 2019; however the school year is 2019/20 and the Fiscal Year is 2020.  Thus the order title saying FY20 because theses order are bening purchased during Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 (which started Aug 1st).

Books ordered during summer may have been purchased during FY 2019; let me know if you think some books in the library were order during the summer and I can share the 2019 order list with you so you can close the loop on summer orders. 

How to Read a Library of Congress Call Number

Each book, video, DVD and CD has a unique call number.

Think of the call number as an address that tells you where an item is in the library. Call numbers can begin with one to three letters which indicate the item's broad subject area.


H=Social Sciences

The subsequent lines consist of numbers and a combination of letters and numbers. 

The first line should be read alphabetically.




The second line should be read numerically.





The third line should be read alphabetically first, then the number should be read as a decimal.




Sometimes a call number will have a fourth line. If that line is alphanumeric like the third line, read it the same way.




Any additional lines that indicate a date, volume number, copy number or other annotations should be read logically. If it is a year, read it chronologically. If it is a volume number, read it numerically, etc.

Make sure to visit the Kent Library website to complete three self-tests on shelving Library of Congress call numbers. These tests are extremely helpful in perfecting your LC call number shelving skills.


Refresher oh how to Shelf Reading & Reshelve Library Materials:

Shelf read the collection in order to get it in Library of Congress order

  1. Go through the shelves left to right in order and read the call numbers to make sure they are in order
  1. Move books to their proper places as necessary

*If you have any questions regarding shelving or shelf-reading please contact:  David Randall -

Reshelve Library Materials

  1. Shelve all materials/items that have been used in the library or have been returned to the library (please refer to the information below “How to Read a Library of Congress Call Number”)
  2. Shelve all new materials/items that arrive from Payson Library
  3. Protect the books - If books are too tall for a shelf, turn them spine down 
  4. Edging books Pull books to the edge of the shelf for better display and arrangement 

Library of Congress Call Number Video Tutorial

Watch this video tutorial from the University of Arkansas Libraries on Library of Congress Call Numbers