What is the Library of Congress classification system?

An explanation of the classification systems used by USP Libraries


The Library of Congress classification system is used by many academic libraries throughout the world. It is an alpha-numerical system that is used to organise the books in the library. Books are shelved according to this system not for example by author, size or colour.

  • The Laucala Campus, PIMRIS and Alafua Campus Libraries use the Library of Congress classification system. 
  • Emalus Campus Library uses Dewey Decimal Classification and Moys Classification Scheme.
  • The rest of the regional libraries use Dewey Decimal Classification.

Compare Library of Congress with Dewey Decimal Classification below:

Library of Congress & Moys are alphanumeric i.e. letters and numbers. 

The first line is the broad subject area i.e. LB = Education, the second line is the narrower area i.e. 2337 = student loans, the third line refers to the author; and the fourth line is the year of publication.


Dewey Decimal Classification is numeric i.e. numbers only though there are some authorship letters at the end NOTE: at USP our Dewey numbers do begin with letters, which tell you which campus library they belong to.

The first line contains a lot of information.  300 = Social sciences 370 = Education 378 = Higher education.  The second line is the specific number for student loans.


  • Last Updated Jan 14, 2021
  • Views 5416
  • Answered By Julia Peters

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