Stacks Management

Our Mission:  To serve the Notre Dame Community, visiting scholars and library patrons by providing well-maintained accessibility to the Hesburgh Library’s general collection.

Our prime responsibilities include:

  • SHELVING - Newly received materials and items transferred from branch locations as well as re-shelving material returned by borrowers, used in-house, and returned from bindery or repair.
  • MANAGING SHELF SPACE - by monitoring growth in all areas of the stacks and shifting to alleviate crowding.
  • SHELVING ACCURACY - Managed through regular shelf reading
    CLEANING - and dusting the shelves and the books to help preserve our collection.

To assist us in keeping the general collection neatly accessible and for statistical purposes, we ask that you not re-shelve items that you have pulled from the shelves.  Instead place them on the carts located on the floors or on any table or desk.  These items are collected each day by the Stacks staff.  Our goal is to have all items placed in their proper shelf locations within 24 hours of pickup or return.



The Notre Dame Hesburgh Library’s collections are classified using the Library of Congress call number system.      A brief explanation of shelving order is shown below.  For further information on this classification system, visit the Library of Congress website  

Call number description


Refer to the Hesburgh Library floor maps to determine call number arrangements on each floor.  You’ll find a call number location guide and floor map on each floor in the stacks as well as a call number location guide inside each elevator.

Try these suggestions to locate materials:

  1. RE-CHECK THE CATALOG – Is the item currently on loan?  Is it an oversize item?  Oversize items are located in the first section of each floor (with the exception of the 2nd floor which has no oversize area).  Is the item in preservation or on order?  If unsure of the status of an item, check at the Circulation Desk.
  2. RE-CHECK THE SHELVES – The item may be misshelved.  Look at adjacent shelves – often a misshelved book is only a few sections away from where it should be located.   Check other call number areas (i.e. - a  PT call number may be shelved in the PS range).
  3. ASK AT THE CIRCULATION DESK -  staff can check to see if an item was recently returned and they can check the Stacks area to see if the item is waiting there to be re-shelved.
  4. CHECK THE FLOOR-  items are generally picked up off the floor in the early part of the day - so walk the floor and check empty tables or desks,  check copy machines or the return carts on the floors.
  5. IF UNSUCCESSFUL – request a search at the Circulation Desk or use the online search form. An in-depth search will be performed. If the item is located, you will be notified by email and the item will be held for you at the Circulation desk.

As time and staffing permit, the shelves are checked for accuracy.   We welcome hearing from you any time you notice an area of the stacks that appears to be out of order.  Report any problem you encounter in the Stacks at the Circulation desk or email us at: