ILL username and password

Effective Thursday February 7, 2013, all McGill ILL borrowers have to log in to the Colombo ILL system using their McGill username and password ( for students or for staff). Old Colombo usernames and passwords will no longer be accepted. For more information about Colombo click here.

Call #? Cutter? What does it mean?

A call number is a group of numbers and letters put together to tell you where you can find your book, DVD, map, or (sometimes) journal in the library. A call number is located at the bottom of the book spine. To find a call number for a book, you have to look it up in our online catalogue. Call numbers serve two purposes: first, they provide a unique location “address”, for every item within the library; second, they group items by subject, so that when you browse the shelves, you will find books on the same subject next to each other.

Call numbers are assigned not randomly but according to a classification system. In the Law Library, we have books in Library of Congress (LC) (at the 1 – 5 floors) or Cutter (in the basement) classification systems. It can be difficult to understand LC call numbers if you are not used to them, so you may wish to take a look at this small video that could help you to read a LC call number.

You may have noticed that in the Law Library, the majority of books have a call number that starts with K. This is due to the fact that letter K is assigned to “law” as a subject in the LC classification system. Any letters and numbers that you see after K denote a specific sub-subject, e.g. KE 470- 474 groups books on Law of Canada – Conflict of laws. You can consult this Tip-Sheet to see the break-down of the class K by topic.

Delivery between the downtown libraries

This week, McGill Library has introduced a new service for students and faculty members: Delivery between the downtown libraries. Now, you can request any book or audio-visual materials (CD, DVD) on the shelf to be delivered to any library branch by clicking on the request button in the Classic catalogue. The delivery will take between 2 and 4 working days.