This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
  • LibraryThing
  • Book discussions
  • Your LibraryThing
  • Join to start using.

Your Call Number System

New features

Join LibraryThing to post.

This topic is currently marked as "dormant"—the last message is more than 90 days old. You can revive it by posting a reply.

Feb 26, 2015, 4:28pm Top

Impressive, as have been the other small-library features recently introduced.

Feb 26, 2015, 5:17pm Top

Lovely! Thanks a bunch!

Feb 26, 2015, 5:56pm Top


Note: this can be set at http://www.librarything.com/settings/yourbooks

Will a field for these (custom shelfmarks, &c.) be added to the book edit page? Or should they just be edited via "Your books" view?

And—pony alert—could this be included in Power-edit, so that books with a particular tag might be assigned, &c.? :-)

Feb 26, 2015, 8:53pm Top

the “Lending” menu within the catalog doesn't show up for me. Am I missing something?

Feb 26, 2015, 11:50pm Top

This is going to be very nice and fun for me. Thank you, LT!

Feb 27, 2015, 4:42am Top

>5 al.vick:
It doesn't show up as a default, but it can be made to. In "Your books", click the button that says "settings" (next to the A to E viewing styles and the power edit options): there you can alter your viewing styles and add the lending menu to your preferred viewing style.

Feb 27, 2015, 4:55am Top

I now have 8,000 books to mark up with the SAB call number system. Sigh. Thanks a lot, Tim!

Feb 27, 2015, 8:48am Top

Thank you Tim

I have been looking for this for a long time.

>4 JBD1: Bump to Power-edit.

Feb 27, 2015, 12:18pm Top

What are the SAB call numbers?

Feb 27, 2015, 12:59pm Top

>10 timspalding:

It's a classification system widely used by Swedish libraries. Currently in retreat, as switching to Dewey allows libraries to keep the original classifications of foreign books.

Feb 27, 2015, 1:09pm Top

Yep, the Royal Library decided to switch to DDC. Not because it's better, but to sponge off the hard work of English-language librarians. But most Swedes who care about call numbers still think in SAB, which is what we grew up with.


Feb 27, 2015, 1:34pm Top

I've added the other-classification field to the edit page. It's also available as a stand-alone catalog field, so you don't need to set and use the default call number system.

Feb 27, 2015, 1:35pm Top

>12 anglemark:

Okay, at some point we may be able to suck them up. In the meantime, I'm adding it as a listed system.

Feb 27, 2015, 1:36pm Top


Feb 27, 2015, 2:01pm Top


Feb 27, 2015, 2:08pm Top

For some reason this feature/post took me back to my days at Yale, where the library used three different systems (I think they were Dewey, LCC, and Yale). So to look anything up you needed to search three different CARD catalogs and then go to three different locations in the library to find the sources.

Totally irrelevant yes, but I thought it might make a few people smile . . . and the rest of us even more grateful/appreciative of modern digital cataloging systems :)

Though I did get lots more exercise back then, climbing around the library . . .

Feb 27, 2015, 2:54pm Top

Yale still has its own system. I want all the data.

Feb 27, 2015, 3:47pm Top


I can get the lending column, but not the button that is supposed to be at the top.


Feb 27, 2015, 3:59pm Top

Thanks for adding this - makes life a lot easier! The only issue I'm having is: I set the classification system to personal/custom and then I added a Call Number column in the styles page, but for some reason when I conduct a search of my library using the call numbers I've added it keeps stating no results! Does that mean I can't conduct a search for any the call numbers I've listed? Any suggestions?

Feb 27, 2015, 4:04pm Top

Holy cow, I've wanted a custom-sorting field ever since I joined up, uh... (opens a new tab to check) ...almost 7 years ago! Of course, then my LT catalog was a fraction of the size is now, and my physical shelves at home actually had enough space for me to actually use a sorting system... But thanks all the same! Now I'm gonna go waste some time sorting... :)

Feb 27, 2015, 4:16pm Top

Thanks Tim!

Great feature,
Now we can change spine labels at leisure as we can display superseded and new classification numbers for the time being.

Feb 27, 2015, 4:19pm Top

the button that is supposed to be at the top.

Can you say that again? Which button?

Does that mean I can't conduct a search for any the call numbers I've listed? Any suggestions?

Yes, it means exactly that. Sorry. It's not indexed at all at present. I'm asking Mike to work with me to get it in.

Feb 27, 2015, 5:45pm Top

>19 al.vick: I can get the lending column, but not the button that is supposed to be at the top.

I didn't see it at first because the default button was set for "authors". If you click on the authors button there is a drop down menu that includes lending.

Feb 27, 2015, 9:47pm Top

>24 MsMaryAnn: mmedeiros

Ahh, I see. I didn't realize that "authors" was a drop down menu. I see it.


Feb 28, 2015, 7:38am Top

>18 timspalding:

Do you want more classification schemes Tim?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mathematics_Subject_Classification - Mathematics Subject Classification

http://www.lib.cam.ac.uk/class/ - Cambridge University Classification
https://library.leeds.ac.uk/downloads/download/38/library_classification_scheme - Leeds University Classification

Feb 28, 2015, 10:40am Top

This is brilliant. I have planned classifying my books by the Finnish Public Libraries Classification System (http://ykl.kirjastot.fi/en-GB/), and now here's a shiny new tool for that. Thank you!

Feb 28, 2015, 4:10pm Top

Thanks Tim. It would be great for patrons of our small library to be able to search by call number as well - all these demands, sheesh!! For the time being, I just realised that I can double up and also add the call numbers in the tags or comments columns as a search seems to retrieve these results - whew!

Feb 28, 2015, 5:48pm Top

I'm a little confused by this. If I set it to Dewey, will it change the data in the Dewey/Melvil column that already existed? This is important to me because there are some instances where I changed the default in that column if I wanted the book listed under a different Dewey than what it showed.

If it does change it, will it put it back if I change the setting back to 'not set'? (Because guess who set it to 'Dewey Decimal Classification BEFORE thinking of the possible impact to the existing Dewey/Melvil column, and then immediately went and put it back? Yeah, that would be me.)

And do I understand from the posts above that the column will not be searchable? Because this seems like a really good column for me to set to 'Personal or Custom'. After all, why set it to Dewey? I've already got the Dewey/Melvil column. So, if there's an advantage to using this new column for Dewey I'm not seeing it and I hope someone will point it out to me.

But as a custom column, I can use it to put the location of the book in my house. For example, most cat books are filed in the 636 section, but maybe I've got one in the guest bedroom. So, it's still a 636 in Dewey, but the physical location is somewhere else. So THAT would be really useful, especially if I can search it.

Thank you very much!

Edited: Feb 28, 2015, 6:06pm Top

>29 Merryann: I think this is easier to understand if you look at the edit book page (pencil icon in your catalog). You will see 3 call number slots: LC, DDC/MDS, and other. Whatever you put in those columns will stay the way you enter it. (Except a little bug in Dewey that doesn't let you turn green to black, but let's ignore that for the moment).

So, now back to the catalog page and the settings mode. If you pick LC Class as a column, it will show a column in your catalog with the data in the LC box on the edit page. If you pick Dewey/MDS as a column, it will display the Dewey/MDS data. If you pick "Call number" as a column it will show data from the box you picked as your default call number (LC, DDC/MDS or Other) in the default call number setting.

What you want to do is have a classification number and location. This won't help you with that. You can put the location in a comments field, a tag or append it to your class number. The last isn't recommended as it has some system-wide ramifications.

If you put any data in the Other Call Number slot, it will not be searchable at the present time.

If you have the column "Call Number" selected in your catalog and change the data for a book, it will update the box (as seen on the edit book screen) that you have chosen on the default call number setting.

I hope this is clear.

Edited it for typos.

Feb 28, 2015, 6:06pm Top

It may not be searchable (yet), but it is sortable.

Mar 1, 2015, 1:44pm Top

This may be the most awesome thing in the history of awesome things!

Oh wait... now I have to move all my call numbers (which use words, not numbers) out of "from where?" and put all the bookstores and libraries back in "from where?" Crap

Mar 1, 2015, 1:48pm Top

>32 casvelyn:

Ha. Sorry.

Mar 1, 2015, 1:57pm Top

>33 timspalding: Actually, I'm kind of reveling in it because, A) LT is now more or less perfect,* B) I love cataloging, and C) I get to be obsessed about tiny details.

One small request, though: the column header under "Your books" for "Other call number system" is so long that it makes the column unnecessarily wide, which makes the other columns awkwardly narrow.

* And by perfect, I mean "exactly how I want it, because no one else's opinion matters to me" :)

Mar 1, 2015, 2:00pm Top

Yes, having to do the work to change things is the only downside to finally getting what I have longed for ever since joining.

Mar 1, 2015, 7:24pm Top


I was really excited about this as we have our own Call numbers and I have been forced to use the LC field by default. So, I went and changed my Call number settings as instructed, and then attempted to change my display settings so that the new Call Number field would replace the old LC field.

Complete disaster. Not only does the new Call Number field not show up, but I have lost ALL my custom settings. No matter how many times I reset them and save, Library Thing keeps defaulting me to this awful style which contains only the four fields: Title, Tags, Comments and Lending.

Please put my custom style back the way it was before!


Mar 1, 2015, 7:52pm Top

Try another browser.

What browser and OS are you using now?

Mar 1, 2015, 8:43pm Top

IE 9

I've never had problems with viewing my custom style before. I don't think it's a browser issue - the settings just don't seem to be saving when I change them.

Mar 1, 2015, 9:35pm Top

>38 SLALS-VUW: It is a bug that seems to be related to browser. Hopefully they'll get it nailed down soon.

Mar 1, 2015, 10:11pm Top

Thanks for that info. Hope it gets fixed soon

Mar 2, 2015, 7:11am Top

>30 aulsmith:, Thank you very much. That makes a lot of sense. I have to leave soon but look forward to exploring this more when I return.

Mar 2, 2015, 11:28am Top

casevelyn @34: "One small request, though: the column header under "Your books" for "Other call number system" is so long that it makes the column unnecessarily wide, which makes the other columns awkwardly narrow."

Agreed. I had move the column to a viewing style other than my preferred one because of this. How about something like "Custom call #"? (Just "Call #" would be even better.)

Mar 3, 2015, 6:56am Top

Or at least remove 'system'. That header is just plain too long.

Edited: Mar 3, 2015, 7:12am Top

Why is there both a Call number and an Other call number system field? They seem to contain the same information.

Mar 3, 2015, 7:51am Top

>45 anglemark: In the catalog view the Call number field shows the call number you have selected as your default call number. The Other Call number system shows what you have entered in the other call number field, regardless of what your default system is.

Mar 3, 2015, 8:41am Top

So basically the two fields make sense if you're using one of call number systems that LT can fetch from the library source but not if you are using another system as your default? OK.

Mar 3, 2015, 12:15pm Top

>47 anglemark: I would say that having two fields (in terms of LT having them) makes sense. Displaying the two fields only makes if your default is DDC or LC and you want to see what's in Other Call number.

Mar 12, 2015, 8:30am Top

I've updated the catalog search code to incorporate the Other Call number field.

to search ddc,lcc and other call number in one search use:


to search just the other call number field use:


the other callnumber is also available as a general search field in the "all" and "most" search filters.

Mar 12, 2015, 8:56am Top

>49 miketopper: You guys are the best!

Mar 12, 2015, 9:04am Top


Mar 14, 2015, 4:34pm Top

Does it mess up anything to put F or B in the Dewey field?

Mar 14, 2015, 5:41pm Top

No, I don't think so. Non-dewey numbers sort weirdly, but there's no way around that.

Mar 17, 2015, 1:51pm Top

>4 JBD1: JBD1 Bump to Power Edit.

Without some sort of short cut or Power Edit we will leave our custom "Call Letters" in the Comments field.

Mar 17, 2015, 4:34pm Top

So, what you want is the ability to move all your comments to call numbers? Because poweredit works on multiple books, so it's not really the right way, I think.

Mar 17, 2015, 4:45pm Top

>55 timspalding: - Well, or to assign multiple books to a shelfmark at a time, whether from a tag or some other thing. My (admittedly bizarro) shelving system at the moment involves hierarchical layers of organization (so, Books on Books -> Bibliographies -> Bibliographies Topical (or something like BoB-Bib-BibTop if I were trying to make a shelfmark scheme). So PowerEdit could let me check off all the books to be assigned to a particular shelfmark ... This is off the top of my head, though - I'd have to think more about how it would work in practice ...

Mar 17, 2015, 5:19pm Top

Well, PowerEdit is about selecting multiple records. It only works if a lot of your books already have the same code. My guess is that it's a mixed bag, but that a lot of people using their own call numbers don't have a lot of clustering, or are even cuttering their call numbers, and have almost no clustering.

Mar 17, 2015, 5:28pm Top

It seems that you need a new function to move en masse the values from one field to another. I'm just not sure how many people will have put a unique call number and nothing else into the comments field. Perhaps this should just be left as something that staff can do on request since I'm sure you have the tools to do the transfer with whatever transformations needs to be done to the data on the back end.

Edited: Mar 17, 2015, 10:33pm Top

Yep, that's what we'd need. We would copy our call letters, the contents of the "Comments" fields, into the new "Other Custom Call Numbers" fields and then delete what was in the Comments fields.

BUT, it's not really that important for us to do this. What we have now works. This new feature is a very good idea and, if it had been available when we started entering books, we would have used it. If we ever catch up in our library, we may cut and paste the our call letters into the new "Other Custom Call Number" field, because it might be nice to free up "Comments" for some unforeseen use.

Edited: Mar 17, 2015, 10:34pm Top

>57 timspalding: timspalding

I don't think PowerEdit won't work for us. It would be way too complicated (we use 2-4 lines for call letters and have about 50 subject categories). Cut and paste would work to move into the new field BUT we don't really need this feature now. It would be nice to have but what we have set up now works just fine.

Mar 18, 2015, 10:56am Top

I can do it. So, every comment is moved to call number?

Mar 18, 2015, 11:58pm Top

Yes, but before you do that can you tell me if
the call letters would show up as separate lines, which is the way we currently show them in Comments?

If not, I'd want to confer with our other librarians because I think our patrons would prefer separate lines to a string of letters separated by /'s.

Mar 19, 2015, 12:26am Top

>61 timspalding: timspaulding

One other question:
Will our Call Letters show up on the "Book Details" page as "Other Call Letters", if you move them en masse?

Actually, is the new "Other Call Numbers" field supposed to be displayed on the "Book Details" page??? It's not showing up for our one 'test' book that now has "Other Call Numbers" listed (http://www.librarything.com/work/5436947/details/115581880)

Mar 19, 2015, 2:37am Top

They don't show on the book detail page.

Mar 19, 2015, 12:53pm Top

The Book Details page has always been lacking. I wish Ammar (sp?) would fix it.

Mar 21, 2015, 10:10pm Top

Could someone explain to me what the difference is between "Call Number" and "Other Call Number System" in my catalog? Do I need both? Which one do I need? I am inputting my own system, and it doesn't seem to matter which of these two I use; it ends up in both exactly the same.

Is it that "Call Number" is for those who use a pre-set system, and so those choices are there? I think I may be answering my own question.

I think for my usage I just need "Other Call Number System" showing in my catalog. Confirm that for me?

Edited: Mar 22, 2015, 3:31am Top

You can set 'Call number' to be Dewey, LoC, or other. So you can set it and use either. And you can not set it and use 'Other Call number system'. The big advantage is that a 'Call number' column will not take up as much width.

Mar 22, 2015, 7:25am Top

Ahh. Width! Very important. Thank you.

Mar 22, 2015, 7:55am Top

My call numbers are quite coarsely granular. They are (mostly) box numbers. I currently identify them with collections. Each box holds 30-100 books. So, for me, the near-ideal process would be to select the contents of collection "Box 001" (say) and then use Power Edit to insert "Box 001" into the Other Call Number field. If that facility existed.

I really really dislike the idea of populating the Other Call Number field manually record by record so I am deferring any data management until I see what tools may be coming for such wholesale data copying.

Mar 22, 2015, 6:02pm Top

>69 TheoClarke: I use tags instead of collections to track box numbers and locations. It would be great to use the call # field for that if I could move the data around through power edit. I suppose, though, it's conceptualized for individual IDs rather than big categories.

I'd even be willing to do the initial change manually, but if I empty out Box 32 and move them all to other locations, I'd much rather use power edit for all those changes.

Mar 26, 2015, 11:39am Top

When I view my catalog with Call Number showing, the column is clickable/sortable. Wonderful! However, when I use the Edit Sort Order arrow button, I can't find Call Number as a choice.

Mar 26, 2015, 6:44pm Top

>71 Collectorator: Yes. Confusing.

Mar 26, 2015, 7:04pm Top

Okay, I have my library of 2,700 books already entered in LibraryThing. I have been editing the LOC field for 100% of my books to make it reflect my classification system (a short version of LOC with some deviations from how those at LOC catalog books). So is there an automated way to move data from the LOC field to my "custom" classification field, and replace LOC field data with LOC's classification? Then, philosophically, is it worth doing at this juncture: advantages, dissadvantages?

Mar 26, 2015, 8:47pm Top

>73 michtelassn: In a former life, I used to design filing systems. What we would tell people was not to try to redo all their files, but to pick a day and from that day forward use the new system. As old files are needed, switch them to the new system before they are refiled.

This is more relevant, of course to a system like files where only perhaps 10% of the material filed will ever be needed again before it is purged. However, I've applied that approach to my LT catalog. New books get put in the new way (for me, this mostly applies to the way I use collections, comments, private comments, and tags, and now also the custom call number field). As I have a need to pull up records for other books, I change them to the new system. When I'm bored, I pull up random groups of books (by tag, maybe, or just pick any page from my catalog) and do a bunch of them.

You don't have the immediate satisfaction of everything being changed and consistent at once, but it works for me. I have 4000 books in two accounts, so I am dealing with a lot of details!

Mar 27, 2015, 1:25am Top

I am moving my call numbers to the new system, but before they were not consistant - I had tryed 3 different places and was not happy with any of them.

The big disadvantage, besides the amount of work, is that the call number doesn't show on the book detail page. It sorts by clicking on the column head, but not if you try to use the sort pop up. I'm not sure if it is included in exports, in fact I rather doubt it.

If you have a consistent setup that works for you, you might want to wait.

Mar 27, 2015, 3:32pm Top

At the moment, I'm leaving my old system in place (tags) until I've worked out how well the new system meets my needs.

I agree about the book detail page. Seems a logical thing to show there.

Mar 27, 2015, 11:52pm Top

I've been known to print/write the LCC onto a label on each one of the books in my personal library. I get a lot of stares from others, but I'm glad you get me.. :-) Thanks for the feature.

May 2, 2015, 2:36pm Top

Exactly what I am needing to do. However, 74 PhaedraB has a good idea, if there is no way to "power edit" them en masse.

May 2, 2015, 2:42pm Top

When we moved 200 boxes of books 10 years ago, I put spine labels on every one of them before shelving, because in our past life no one (not even me) knew where to put books back after reading them.

I entered them in a plain Excel file for each box as unloaded but never got around to merging the files before LT came into my life (blessings be upon all the LT staff!).
And then I started buying more books because we have great semi-annual library sales (anywhere from 50 to 150 books twice a year adds up in a hurry).

The stares we get from others are of sheer admiration.

I had to alter or invent call numbers for a lot of old and obscure books (hooray for the LOC on-line catalog), which I put in the LT LOC field when I began, so this new field will be a great advantage going forward.

May 2, 2015, 2:46pm Top

B) I love cataloging, and C) I get to be obsessed about tiny details.

Isn't that true of most of us here?

I find that massaging my catalog is as therapeutic for me as walking or biking for other people.
And, I can do it inside out of the rain.

May 2, 2015, 3:27pm Top

This may need to be a bug report, so I will put it there if no one replies here in a couple of days.

I am reshelving all my music, so I changed the location of all of my "customized" LCC call numbers (all had spaces after the division prefix and again after the first classification number, some contain one or more *).

I copied them to the new personal call number field, and erased the data in the LCC field. When I finished, and looked at the catalog again, most of the "blank" LCC fields had been automatically filled by LT with the (uncustomized, green) LCC numbers (hooray!) EXCEPT some of my records had the LCC field refilled with my customized numbers, now in green also.
I erased them again from a number of records, and they came back again. Did that once more, same result.

It's inconsistent, as a lot of the empty fields remain empty (no LCC number available) even though I have a custom call number in the other field. I thought the program might be "selecting" my call number because I'm the only one that has that particular book, but other libraries have some of the culprits also. And, it's not just the Welsh books.
Here's a partial list of problem records by book title:

Primary Worship :
The Magnus Christmas Album :
A Round of Carols
Gee Geffyl Bach
Gwlad Y Gan
Can Di Bennill
Caneuon Gwerin Cymru
Reader's Digest Popular Songs That Will Live Forever

PS do you know why the real LCC numbers are sometimes shown as a list of alphanumerics without spaces, and some have spaces after the prefix and before the second cutter number (which is what I am doing, but I also separate the first cutter number).

PPSS love this new feature!!!

Edited: May 7, 2015, 4:20am Top

Needing help rather urgently! We're delighted by the new 'other call number system', but when we export our data this column doesn't come along with everything else.

We have a huge amount of duplications in our entries, some genuine and many because our procedure over the years has changed.

Now, to correct things we have to go to the shelves, find the books and record (pencilled in the book) which ones have been entered.

We also have to backtrack in adding our accession numbers to entries made before 2015, so have to find each book to do so. Complicated by multiple copies in different buildings.

If the exported list had the 'other call number system' column, we could find all the books in each section needing the pencil mark and accession number entering quickly, instead of chasing from one section to another.

Please add the 'other call number system' column to the exporting system soon - we have another 4,000 books to enter and we don't want to add to our workload by running around the library needlessly!

Thanks so much for a wonderful system.

Bevianne in VicRML

Jun 27, 2015, 10:53am Top

Now that you offer barcode labels, will you be offering spine labels to use with your various call number systems?

Sep 28, 2016, 11:53am Top

Was the "other call number" option added to the Book Details Page? That would be wonderful for the teachers in our pre-school library, who look up books by title or subject, and then look at the Book Details Page (vs. the Your Books page) and need to know the call number (in our own very simple last name based system) to pull the book from our little pre-school library shelves.

Any help/guidance for this all-volunteer effort would be appreciated!

Edited: Sep 28, 2016, 12:15pm Top

>84 UCNS-CP: Whoops, I thought it had been. No, it's not there.

You might want to look into TinyCat. It does show up there.

See the third item here: https://www.librarycat.org/lib/MarthaJeanne/search/text/close

Group: New features

45,201 messages

This group does not accept members.


This topic is not marked as primarily about any work, author or other topic.


No touchstones

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 134,176,756 books! | Top bar: Always visible