Ever wander into your local library and instantly feel lost? Where do you start? All libraries have their catalog of available materials organized slightly differently. At the Latah County Library District, all of our materials are cataloged the same in each branch, making your search cohesive across the county. Here is a quick rundown of our system’s categories and how they are organized:

Adult nonfiction books, audiobooks and movies use “call numbers” that are placed on the spine of each item. The call numbers indicate the subject matter the item focuses on. These call numbers are universal, known as the “Dewey Decimal System” and are used in most public libraries across the United States. For example: individual biographies generally have a call number of 921. So biographies will be in the same shelving area with the number 921 and the first three letters of the subject’s last name. So a Helen Keller book will look like “921 KEL” and will be organized alphabetically.

Adult fiction books and audiobooks will have a spine label that indicates that it is fiction with a “FIC” and the author’s last name. So a James Patterson novel will look like:“FIC PATTERSON.”

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