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EARL: Early Childhood Education

This guide is intended for students in the Early Childhood Education program. It will help you locate children's picture books in the Library collection, and conduct research using our online databases.


Many of your assignments will require you to find picture books on different topics or themes. Under this tab, we've collected some of the more popular requests from ECE students. Use the drop-down menu on the left to explore those different topics. 

How the NCC Children's Book Collection is Organized

The children’s book collections at the Mack and Monroe Campus Libraries are arranged by two levels of organization: reading level and subject area. Books are first divided into three categories determined by the difficulty of the text:

  • Easy = Ages infant through 7 years
  • Juvenile = Ages 8 to 11 years
  • Young Adult* = Ages 12 and older

 *Titles that could be considered appropriate for the “Juvenile” reading level based on text difficulty, but contain sensitive or mature themes, may be placed in the “Young Adult” category.

Once reading level has been determined, the books are assigned a Library of Congress (LC) classification number, which groups materials on the shelf by subject.

Nonfiction children’s books are given the same LC classification numbers as their adult counterparts; for example, a book about Martin Luther King, Jr. would fall under call number E 185.97 .K5, regardless of whether the content was intended for children or adults.

 Fiction children’s books are assigned the LC classification “PZ,” which is subdivided as follows:

  • PZ 5 = Anthologies of stories
  • PZ 7 = General fiction published between 1870-2014
  • PZ 7.1 = General fiction published in 2015 or later
  • PZ 8 = Fairy tales
  • PZ 8.1 = Folklore and legends
  • PZ 8.2 = Fables
  • PZ 8.3 = Nursery rhymes and other stories in rhyme
  • PZ 10.3 = Animal stories
  • PZ 71 through PZ 78 = Spanish language materials

Books in the “PZ” call number range are further organized by author’s last name, which is represented by the letter occurring after the decimal point in the call number. For example, the call number for the book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, by Laura Numeroff, is PZ 7 .N964 1985. This helps to keep all the books written by a particular author, within one genre, grouped together on the same shelf.