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Reference Tips for Librarians Helping Health Science Students

Tips for ACC librarians helping health science students

NLM Classification on Health Science Campuses

Items purchased by health science selectors are classified in the National Library of Medicine (NLM) classification system. Generally, these call numbers are in the ranges of QS-QZ and W-WZ. Because these ranges don't exist in Library of Congress classification, the two systems can be used in the same library.


  • Items with call numbers in these ranges are housed mostly at EVC and RRC with a few at CYP.
  • Vet Tech items at EGN, though part of health sciences, are normally classified in LC under S (agriculture)
  • You may see items under the same record with different call numbers. This usually means some items were purchased to support health sciences, and others to support other areas, such as biology. (Example)
  • The LC class for anatomy and physiology are is QM and QP, while the NLM class for anatomy is QS and physiology is QT. This can cause confusion in browsing the shelves, since these areas are shelved near each other.

NLM Classification Poster

This poster form the NLM gives a broad overview of the classification scheme:

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