Library of Congress Classification

In this session, we’ll start with the basics of Library of Congress Classification. What are the parts of a LC call number? What is its relationship to the subject headings? What is a cutter and how do you figure out what those are? What exceptions are there to common rules of classification? Translation cutters? What are those? What if you see a call number that has numbering in it, e.g., LB1045.B45 v.24 – what does that mean?

We’ll talk through all of these situations and more, as you gain a greater understanding of how LC call numbers work as well as what resources are available to help you either verify a call number or create one.

Some familiarity with MARC will be helpful, but this class is meant to be introductory and practical. Staff with more experience in LC call numbers will likely discover new resources and perhaps, even think of their work in a different way. New catalogers will benefit from a solid foundation in LC call numbers.  LC’s free LC Classification guides will be discussed as well as ClassWeb (& other resources!)

Resources: Slides, an entire folder of resources including exercises for further study, a self scoring knowledge check, and much more! 

Audience: All audiences who do or are interested in cataloging or technical services work, metadata work, or archives,or systems staff; public services staff wishing to understand more about the data they see in the ILS may be interested, too! 


Robin Fay is an Instructor and Metadata Librarian who has worked with academic, public, and community college libraries, multistate consortias, and nonprofit organizations including Orbis Cascade Alliance, the Digital Public Library of America, the University System of Georgia, and, among others. Her interests are in immersive technologies and the intersection of machine learning, data, and us! Feel free to connect with Robin at LinkedIn or elsewhere.