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How to Read Call Numbers

COVID-19 Updates

COVID-19 Updates

Pullman Libraries buildings remain closed to in-person visits. Please check our Remote Services during COVID-19 for available services.

Step 1: Determine the Availability and Location

If you've searched the library catalog for a book, video, map, or most any other type of item, you will need to note two things -

1)  The availability and location of the item

2)  The call number

Available Books

When a book is checked in, available, and on the shelf at one of the WSU libraries, you will see Available at in Green below the book information:

“screenshot of Search It item with availability info outlined

You might also see the phrases Online access or Full text available in Green. You will also see the resource type (EBOOK) above the title. This means it is an eBook (accessible completely online). Click on this phrase and then on the link for the database that holds the eBook. For more information on how to access these materials, look at the links below.

screenshot of Search It item with "Online Access" link outlinedscreenshot of Search It item with "Full text available" link outlinedscreenshot of Search It item's Access Options with database access link outlined

Unavailable Books

When a book is not available at WSU Libraries, you will see the phrase Check Holdings in Yellow:

screenshot of Search It item with "Check Holdings" link outlined

Check Holdings means that the book may be available through one of our partner schools (a program called Summit). Through this program, we share collections with about 40 different libraries across the Pacific Northwest.


You may be able to order the book through Summit (for delivery in 3-5 days), or Interlibrary Loan (for delivery in 1-2 weeks). You can see your request options by logging into your Search It account with your WSU ID (firstname.lastname). If Summit is your option, click on the Summit link. Fill out the requested information and you will receive an email when the book arrives. If Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is your option, click on the Interlibrary Loan link and login with your WSU ID to create an ILLiad account.

screenshot of "Availability and Request Options" section with "Sign in" link outlinedscreenshot of "Availability and Request Options" section with "Request Summit Item" link outlined

What Library has my Book?

The library location is listed directly after the availability statement. Below are some examples, but not all Pullman campus locations are represented. For more information on each library or collection at WSU, go to the Library Hours and Locations page on the WSU Libraries website.  

If you are not sure where to go, ask someone at one of the Pullman campus libraries.  If you need an item that is not on the Pullman campus, you may be able to request a copy of the item (see: Unavailable Books box).

Here are a few WSU-Pullman locations:

screenshot of Search It item at Owen Science and Engineering Library with its location outlinedscreenshot of Search It item at Holland/Terrell Libraries with its location outlinedscreenshot of Search It item at Animal Health Library Stacks

If you see that it is also available at "other locations," you can click on "Availability and Request Options" to see if it is located at a library more convenient for you.

Holland/Terrell Deweys are located in the basement of Terrell. For more information, continue to Reading Dewey Call Numbers.

screenshot of Search It item at Dewey section of Holland/Terrell Libraries with its location outlined


Here are a few examples of non-Pullman WSU locations:

screenshot of Search It item at Vancouver Library with its location outlinedscreenshot of Search It item at Spokane Academic Library with its location outlined

Requesting Material from other WSU Libraries

If a book is available at another campus library, you may request to have it sent to your primary campus. Under the material record, find the "Availability and Request Options.” You will be prompted to log in with your WSU ID (firstname.lastname). Click on "Request Item,” and you will be prompted to fill out and submit a form. The material should arrive within 5 days. 

screenshot of "Availability and Request Options" section with "Sign in" link outlined

screenshot of "Availability and Request Options" section with "Request Options" button outlinedSearch It item request screen to choose pickup location

WSU Libraries, PO Box 645610, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-5610, 509-335-9671, Contact Us