Locating Materials

Stony Brook University Libraries use Library of Congress classification. The Health Sciences Library uses the National Library of Medicine classification.

Call Number Locations for Main Stacks

The Main Stacks contains collections of journals, serials and books supporting research in the disciplines in the humanities and social sciences. In the catalog, the location “Main Library Stacks” refers to material housed on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th floors of the Melville Library.

Main Stacks Floor Plan

The Stony Brook University Libraries use Library of Congress call numbers. The Main Stacks contains collections of journals, serials and books for the study of numerous disciplines in the humanities and social sciences. The location code MAIN refers to the materials housed on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th floors of the Main Library.

Main Library Stack Directory

(Enter on the 3rd Floor)

First Letter of the Call Number
Floor Where the Item is Located
A – E
2nd floor
F – N
3rd floor
4th floor
Q – Z
3rd floor
***Use the Stacks stairs on the 3rd floor, to get to the 2nd and 4th floors.***
  • Science books in the G and Q thru TX range are in the North Reading Room stacks
  • Current non-science Periodicals are in the Central Reading Room
  • Reserve materials are at the 3rd floor Circulation desk
  • All oversized books will have “x”, “xx” or “xxx” indicated before the call number. Single “x” indicates oversize; “xx” indicates double oversize and “xxx” indicates triple oversize. All oversize books are shelved at the end of the general collections on each floor, beginning with single “x”. The only exception to this is that “x” N’s (art books) are shelved with regular size N’s. For detailed information, please consult the stacks floor maps located on the second and fourth floor landings in the stacks stairwell. This does not apply to oversized material in Government Documents and the Reference Department, where all sizes are shelved together.
  • Books that are located in the Cage collection are housed behind the Book Return Desk. Please ask desk staff to retrieve Cage material. You will need to present staff with call number information. All Cage material must be checked out using your library ID card even when browsing the material.
  • Audio visual items are located on the third floor, in the front of Core West.


Stony Brook University students, faculty and staff may initiate a Recall request when a patron needs an item that is checked out to another patron. The Library’s Reserve department staff may also initiate a Recall on an item that is being placed on Reserve for a course.

A recall shortens the original due date. All material (except audio-visual material or items on Reserve) can be recalled. The original borrower will receive an email notification about the new due date.

Patrons can place recalls online or by completing a Recall/Hold request form at the Circulation desk.

Failure to return a recalled item will result in overdue fines.


A hold can be placed on an item that is due within two weeks. A hold does not change the due date but instead allows the item to be held at the Circulation desk for the requesting patron. Holds cannot be placed on Reserve material.

Patrons who request a Recall or a Hold will be notified by email once the material becomes available. The material will be held at the Circulation desk or branch library for 10 days from the date of notification.

Search requests

If an item is listed in the catalog as available but does not appear to be on the shelf where it belongs, a Search request can be submitted. Search forms are available at the Circulation desk or at the branch libraries.
If the item cannot be located, it will be declared missing. At that point, it can be requested through interlibrary loan.