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Library of Congress Classification Conversion Project

University Libraries has begun a project to convert from using the Dewey Decimal Classification System to the Library of Congress Classification System for most of our collections.

With West Chester University earning R2 Research Classification status in 2022, moving to the Library of Congress Classification (LCC) system will strengthen the accessibility and discoverability of the libraries’ collections that support the university’s research activities. Classification systems determine how books are arranged on the shelf and is what creates the call number which can be found on the spine of the book. Some benefits of LC Classification and the impact on student success and faculty research include:

  • You will more easily discover and browse resources on related subjects and disciplines because they will be united and shelved together.
  • Call numbers are less complex and more meaningful, making things easier to find.
  • Improved classification of emerging fields helps keep the collection current.
  • 81% of academic libraries and almost all major research libraries use LCC. By becoming familiar with it here, you will be able to use it at most university libraries.

Project Timeline

Phase Status Details
Phase I in progress
  • Complete Inventory (complete)
  • Develop preservation and retention policy (in progress)
  • Define parameters of collection evaluation (in progress)
  • Develop communication plan (complete)
Phase II in progress
  • Collection evaluation (in progress)
  • Staff training (in progress)
  • Develop reclassification process (in progress)
  • Obtain processing materials (complete)
  • Location code review (in progress)
  • Implement communication plan (in progress)
Phase III not started
  • Reclassification processing (projected to begin July 2024)
  • Withdraw selected materials
  • Return materials with new call number labels to new shelf location
  • Deploy way finding resources to navigate the stacks and tools to learn LC classification


Project News

June 2024 Project Update

Shifting has begun on the third floor of FHG Library to make space for newly classed materials. Staff have almost completed condensing the books on the shelves to create space at the beginning of the stacks. This is where books with LC call numbers will be shelved.

While this project is in progress and books are being reclassified, there will be a "split collection", with some books in a new area with an LC call number and others still with a Dewey call number. This work is planned to begin in July, be sure to check this page for updates. There will be signage in the library to help guide you to the right shelf and we encourage you to seek assistance with finding materials. Staff at the Library Help Desk can help with retrieving materials. You can also request books to be pulled from the shelves and held for pick up at the Library Help Desk or mailed to your home address.

Watch this video on how to request a book through Library Search

April 2024 Project Update

Spring semester has been busy as we focus on preparing to start classifying new books that arrive this Summer with Library of Congress (LC) call numbers. This has involved developing a workflow for reclassifying books, identifying processing materials that need to be purchased, continuing to work on collection evaluation, and planning a project to shift the current collection to create space for LC-classed books.

February 2024 Project Update

We recently completed an inventory of the library's general collections. Library inventories are important because they ensure that everything is in place on the shelf and accurately reflected in the online Library Search. This large multi-year inventory required the support and expertise of many library staff, whose work helped:

  • Identify missing books
  • Locate books shelved in the wrong place
  • Identify books that need to be repaired or withdrawn
  • Identify updates needed to the call number label or catalog record



If you have any questions or feedback, please reach out to one of the project managers: