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  • Basic rule of thumb: “Nothing comes before something.” If you have a name like “Bird”, it will come before “Birdwell”. “Newsweek” follows “New Republic”.

  • Fiction is shelved in strict alphabetical order by author’s last name, then first name. Ignore A, The, & An when these begin a title.

  • Titles beginning with a number are shelved as if the number were spelled out. “The 10 Commandments” would be shelved as “The Ten Commandments”.

  • The shelving of materials authored by Mac and Mc names is also in strict alphabetically order. Shelving example: Maas, MacDonald, Malley, McDonald, Mellon.

  • Authors’ names with prefixes are shelved by the first letter of the prefix and then the rest of the name, omitting the spaces between them. Thus, Mazo De La Roche is shelved as “Delaroche”; Lynda La Plante is shelved as “Laplante”. Shelving example: Landvik, Lao, La Plante, Lardo.

  • Ignore any punctuation in an author’s name. Thus, Darcy O’Brien is shelved as “Obrien”. Shelving example: Oates, O’brien, Ocampo, O’connor.

  • Authors’ names with abbreviations should be shelved by the full word that has been abbreviated. Thus, James St. James is shelved as “Saintjames”. Shelving example: Sagan, St. James, Salinger. One exception to the abbreviation rule: Mrs., which is shelved just as it appears.

    • Also, authors’ names that are abbreviated are shelved as if the first name were the letter. For example: H.D. comes before Haake, Katherine; and Madison, A.W. comes before Madison, Aaron.

  • Authors with multiple last names are shelved by the first one. Again, omit the space between them. Thus, Gabriel Garcia Marquez is shelved as “Garciamarquez” and Dick King-Smith is shelved as “Kingsmith”.

    • Books with multiple Authors are shelved only by the first one listed. Ignore any other Author names.

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