Related product I-Share

New VuFind Call Number Searching

What’s a Call Number?

Call numbers are usually a combination of letters and numbers. They indicate where a library book or other material should be shelved amid materials about the same (or similar) subjects. For electronic resources, call numbers virtually “place” them amid similar subject materials. I-Share libraries use many call number classification systems including Library of Congress, Dewey Decimal, National Library of Medicine, Superintendent of Documents, and locally created systems.  

How does the “Call Number Searching” feature work in New VuFind?

You can enter the beginning of a call number in the search box in your individual library’s New VuFind catalog, select “Call Number” from the drop down list, and click “Find.”

New VuFind searches the holding record MARC field 852 subfields h and i for call numbers.  Subfields h and i are stored and searched together as a single string of characters.  The results are displayed in call number order with the call numbers highlighted in yellow.  To see the results in a different sorted order, click on the “Sort” drop-down and select a different sort, for example, “Title”. Wait a few seconds for the results to display in the new order.

What if I find no Call Number matches?

If no results are retrieved from your call number search, try using fewer characters and inserting the truncation symbol “*”. For example, search for “HQ1000*” instead of “HQ1000.G67x”.  

Why do Call Number searching results get zero results or strange matches at times?

Call Number fields are often inconsistent and tricky to search due to variations in spacing, periods, copy numbers and dates. Call number systems change over time by adding new categories or merging older ones. Libraries have sometimes changed the call number system they use such as going from Dewey to Library of Congress. Such migrations are never 100% consistent.

What about Call Number searching and the all I-Share catalog?

There’s no call number searching in the all I-Share catalog at

I have more questions about Call Number searching

about call number searching to CARLI Support.

Last updated 4/24/2018.