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How to Read Call Numbers

COVID-19 Updates

Please note: while we try to keep our guides as up-to-date as possible, the most current information on WSU Pullman Library operations and Services can be found at the links below:

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:

“Handbook of American women’s history” catalog information highlighting “Available at” at the bottom of catalog information.

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.

“A History of Women in Russia From Earliest Times to the Present” catalog information highlighting “Online access” link in the middle of catalog information.“A History of Women in Russia From Earliest Times to the Present” catalog information highlighting “Full text available” link in the middle of catalog information.“Access Options” example highlighting “Ebook Central Academic Complete” link in first line of information.

Unavailable Books

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

“Writing women’s history since the Renaissance” catalog information highlighting “Check Holdings” link at bottom of catalog information.

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.

“Availability and Request Options” section showed to highlight WSU Libraries user sign in link right below subtitle.“Availability and Request Options” section showed to highlight “Request Summit Item” link.

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:

“100 years of architecture in Chicago” catalog information highlighting its location at Owen Science and Engineering Library Stacks.“Make a new history” catalog information highlighting its location at Holland/Terrell Libraries Stacks.“Handbook of laboratory animal science” catalog information highlighting its location 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.

“History of the Ancient and honorable fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons” catalog information highlighting its location in the Dewey section of Holland and Terrell Libraries.


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

“The art of art history” catalog information highlighting its location at Vancouver Library Stacks.“Highlights of the history of the army Nurse Corp” catalog information highlighting its location at Spokane Academic Library Spokane Stacks.

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. 

“Availability and Request Options” section highlighting WSU Libraries user sign in link at top of section.

“Availability and Request Options” section highlighting “Request Options” request item link at top of section.Item request screen to choose pickup location.

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