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The University of Massachusetts Amherst

French/Italian 572 - Basic Methods of Teaching Foreign Languages

Call numbers

Each book that is added to the library receives a Library of Congress call number which serves two functions:

  1. determines where the book is located in the stacks
  2. identifies the topic of the book

For example:

The book, Portraits of Second Language Learners, in the Du Bois Library has a call number of P118.2 .M886 2018.

The Du Bois Library Floor Directory tells us that the book is located on the 8th floor because it starts with P. Once on the 9th floor, signs posted on the ends of each shelf will guide you to the exact location of a book with that call number.

The Library of Congress Classification Outline can be used to determine the topic of the book based on its call number. Books starting with P are classified as philology and linguistics. More specifically, call numbers from P118 to 118.75 are about language acquisition.

Call numbers of interest

One way to discover books is by finding specific call number ranges in the stacks and browsing. This enables you to flip through books and peruse the table of contents or index effortlessly. You may be surprised what you will find by serendipity!

P118-118.75 Language acquisition
P306-310 Translating and interpreting
PC1065-1069 Italian, Study and teaching. Research
PC2065-1069 French, Study and teaching. Research

When you find a promising book in Discovery Search, I encourage you to find it in the stacks yourself and take a look at the books on either side of it. Since books are arranged by topic, you can often find a number of other books on the same topic co-located.