Finding Library Materials

Online catalog

The online catalog provides links to digital materials through View online links and retrieves Library of Congress call numbers and bibliographic information for physical library materials. (See below for a discussion of call numbers.) It also identifies materials as Available or Checked Out, Due xx/xx/xxxx (where the x characters represent the month, day and year). You can use any computer with an Internet connection to search our catalog through the search tool at the top of every library page or navigating to the advanced Catalog page.

Digital resources

Most of the Library's periodical subscriptions and more than half of our book collection is digital in nature. Use our journal search tool if you are looking for a particular journal title. Our Catalog searches books, journals, and other materials through a single interface. For more targeted searches and research requiring greater specificity, go to Online Resources.

Physical book and audiovisual collections

Just like digital items, you can discover physical ones by using the Catalog to search. However, instead of a link, you will be looking for a shelf location. The SU Library uses the Library of Congress Classification System to distinguish subject areas and identify shelf locations. This system uses letters and numbers arranged into a unit termed a "call number." The top line of the call number consists of at least one letter of the alphabet and indicates the broad discipline. The second line stands for a subdivision within the discipline. Generally speaking, the third line refers to the author, and the fourth is the date of publication.

Sample LC call number

BS The Bible (Broad Classification)
647.2 Bible--Prophecies (Subdivision)
.W28 John Walvoord (Author Number)
1991 Date of Publication


To save space, the online catalog displays the call number in a horizontal line (i.e. BS 647.2 .W28 1991).

Simplified outline of Library of Congress classification system

A General Works
B - BJ Philosophy, Psychology
BL - BX Religions
C - F History
G Geography
H Social Science
J Political Science
K Law
L Education
M Music
N Fine Arts
P Language and Literature
Q Science
R Medicine
S Agriculture
T Technology
U Military Science
V Naval Science
Z Bibliography


Not every book on related subjects will have similar classification numbers. For example, a book on suicide as an ethical issue will be shelved under a different number than books on suicide counseling.

Locations at the SU Library

Materials are shelved in the following areas.

AC - BR Reference Room
BR - PR Main Downstairs Wing
PR - PZ Periodicals Room
Q - QB Main Downstairs Wing
QB - Z Main Upstairs Wing
Atlases Main Upstairs Wing
Children's Literature Periodicals Room
Curriculum Periodicals Room
Oversize Reference Room
Reference Reference Room
Simpson Collection Main Upstairs Wing
Tozer Collection Technical Services
Weggland Main Upstairs Wing


We shelve most of the library's hard copy journals in the periodicals room. The most recent issues of select periodicals are located on the second floor of the library. Physical periodicals cannot be taken outside library premises. As stated above, most of the library's journals are digital and accessible through the web.