Dewey Decimal Call Numbers

An example of a dewey call number (Juve 305.8 .Eng)

       How to read a Dewey call number:

  • Every Dewey Decimal (DDC) call number begins with three numbers (003 is never written as 3 in DDC), some with decimal numbers followed by various letters, and/or number combinations.
  • Numbers to the left of the decimal point in Dewey call numbers are whole numbers. Therefore, 015 comes before 150.
  • Numbers to the right of the decimal point in DDC call numbers are decimal numbers. Therefore, 970.13 comes before 970.3




Collection:  The top line identifies a collection type.  Our library only uses the Dewey Decimal system for our Juvenile collection.



Classification: Based on the subject of the resource/item.



Based on the author’s last name.


Dewey Decimal System

This is a system for organizing the contents of a library based on the division of all knowledge into 10 groups. Each group is assigned 100 numbers and is subdivided into decimals. Some older documents in the library may use the Dewey Decimal system.

Image of a poster showing different dewey decimal classifications

Image credit: Maggie Appleton [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Flickr


Written by, or adapted from, Vanderbilt University Libraries (CC BY-SA).