Finding books on the shelf

Classification and call numbers at CLBC

All CLBC collections, physical and digital, are searchable through our catalogue. Using the catalogue you can discover which branch holds which resource, as well as the item’s call number. 

Call numbers describe where each resource lives within our collection and in relation to each other based on its subject. Call numbers allow material of similar subject matter to be shelved together. 

We use a classification system called Moys to assign call numbers to each resource. Moys call numbers are created using a combination of letters and numbers: 

  • K130.B593 2019 - Black’s law dictionary 
  • KM221.B75A11A56 - Annotated British Columbia Human Rights Code 

What does a call number say? 

  KN319.2.P472C65 2011



  Identifies the main subject area in the collection where the item should be held.



 Organizes the item on the shelf by last initial of author or title or the book. Can be one or several groups of letters and numbers.
  2011   Can be any combination of publication year, volume and/or copy details.


How to read and organize call numbers 

  • CLBC call numbers start with ‘K’ or ‘K and a second letter’ 
    • ‘K’ comes before ‘K and a second letter’ 
    • ‘K and a second letter’ are filed in alphabetical order ‘KA’, ‘KB’, ‘KC’, etc. 
  • Read the number as a whole number 
    • ‘KN5’ is shelved before ‘KN50’, both are shelved before ‘KN399’ 
    • This continues after the decimal so, ‘KN391.25’ is shelved before ‘KN391.3’ 


K before KA  K130.C65 1994  before  KA1.A56 2002 
.K before .L  KN254.K47  before KN254.L57 
.C31 before .C8  KF55.C31  before KF55.C8 
337.35 before 337.4  KM337.35.T86  before KM337.4.G78 
v.1 before v.2  KM208.T371 v.1  before KM208.T371 v.2 
2011 before 2022  KM320.B52 2011  before KM320.B52 2022 


Calls numbers on the shelf 

You will read and shelve a call number from left to right and top to bottom within a bay of shelving: 

books with arrows to show order they are arranged

Top level classification

K Reference
KA Journals
KB Medical/Health/Prison
KC International
KD Religious Systems
KE Ancient and Medieval Law
KF Common Law – Primary - UK 
KG Common Law – Primary - US 
KH Common Law – Primary - Australasia 
KL Common Law – Treatises - General 
KM Common Law – Treatises – Public Law 
KN Common Law – Treatises – Private Law 
KP Canadian - Primary 
KR Africa
KS Latin America
KT Asia and Pacific
KV Europe
KW European Union
KZ Other