I’ve designed a bookmark for my library to help undergrads find books by call number. It’s a complex concept, so a handheld guide is useful. Our main use case is explaining call numbers to students at the Reference Desk using this bookmark as a visual aid. Our stacks include floor maps and (soon) posters explaining call numbers in a more visual way.
If you’d like to modify the bookmark for your institution, here’s the template for Adobe InDesign. This template is free to use and modify without attribution by anybody in the universe (CC0). Requires Adobe InDesign and the Helvetica font. I’d appreciate any feedback or suggestions!
bookmark_call-number_template.indd (4 MB)
Or if you just want to grab the graphic and you have some editing software, here’s a 300ppi PNG (click for full image):
The bookmark is somewhat CUNY-specific — in step one, I’ve made a mock of how a book record looks like in our catalog, CUNY+. The template helpfully points out what to change when modifying it for your library.
And! It’s a two-fer! You also get the How do I find a call number? bookmark to the left, which is very CUNY-specific but might be a good template to follow. (You’ll get a “missing links” error for the screenshots in this one.)
If you don’t have InDesign, you can grab the text of the bookmark below.
How do I find a book on the shelf?
Step 1. First, find the book’s general location and call number in the catalog. Example:
||John Jay College
||Regular loan (book can be borrowed)
||Look on shelf (book is available)
Step 2. Then find the book on the shelves by its call number.
||See floor map to find shelf section.
||Find Ps, then find PQ alphabetically.
||In the PQs, find 7,797. Read as a whole number.
||Find the Bs in the PQ7797 area, then 635 in digit order.
The number is a decimal: .B6 occurs after .B599. May be two-part.
||Years are arranged chronologically.
Call number: the “address” that tells you where in the Library a book is located. It’s ordered general → specific.
Can’t find it? Have questions? Ask at the Reference Desk!
Shoutout to all the helpful feedback I got on Twitter and from my colleagues at John Jay! More suggestions welcome in the comments.
As I loitered in our systems manager’s office, I noticed he had a great Google poster up on the wall:
It’s kinda old, but the tips still work! I did some googling when I had a minute to find out if they offered that posters for downloads, and lo and behold, there’s a whole trove of educational material from Google. Their ‘lesson plan search‘ page has a handful of posters like the one above.
However, it seems like a lot of that information is pretty outdated. You can tell both by the logo and by the text itself. I updated one of the posters by pasting in new screenshots and adding a paragraph to tip #4:
The PDF (2 MB) prints out to 17×22 inches.
I’m hoping they’ll update their educational collection, but in the meantime, I might go ahead and revise/recreate some of the other useful posters.