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A Basic Guide to Getting Started at the Library: How Materials Are Shelved

Using the library's resources and collections

Arrangement of Library Materials

Open Stacks and Closed Stacks:

Records in the library's online catalog tell whether a publication is shelved in "Open Stacks," or "Closed Stacks."  The records also provide other information for locating an item such as a call number, shelving title, or shelving location.

Much of the library's collection is shelved in "Closed Stacks," areas not accessible to the public. But don't worry, you can still retrieve these items using a fast, efficient call slip request system.  Turnaround time is usually under 10 minutes.  Staff at the Reference Desk can assist you to retrieve items from the closed stacks.


Reference Desk

Need assistance? Please ask at the Reference Desk located across from the public computers.

Phone: 816-363-460, press 2,

Or 800-662-1545, press 2.


Retrieve Items from the Closed Stacks

Many of the library's collections are shelved in closed stacks that aren't accessible to the public. But you can still retrieve these items using a quick and efficient request system. Average turnaround time is under 10 minutes.

Journals:  The journals and many other serial publications are shelved in closed stacks. Use the golden-yellow colored request slip (pictured below) to request a particular volume/issue, or range of years of a journal. Fill out as much of the information as you can: Journal Title (or abbreviation given), Volume, Issue Number, Page/s, Issue Date)


In addition to journal request slips:

Books:  Books dated before 1980 are shelved in closed stacks.  Use the white book request slip to retrieve these books. Please fill out the request form with call number and title/author.

Government DocumentsUse the large, square lemon yellow request slips.

Not sure which slip to use? Just ask at the Reference Desk.

Please note: Not all library holdings are listed in the online catalog at this time.  These include engineering societies meeting papers, aerospace papers, some government documents and technical reports, industry standards and specifications, and other items.  Reference staff can explain options for searching for and locating these items based on the subject area you are researching. 

Map of Open Stacks

Books and conference proceedings published from 1980 up to present are shelved in open stacks on the balcony. 

If you find a publication in the catalog that says shelved in "Open Stacks," you may go upstairs to retrieve it yourself.  The attached map shows where call numbers are shelved in open stacks.

Library of Congress Classification System

Linda Hall Library uses the Library of Congress classification system to assign call numbers by subject. 

There is a printed copy of the Library of Congress classification system for use at reference desk only. 
See particularly the Q (Science) class schedule and the T(Technology) class schedule.