Central Library

Languages & Literature

Languages and Literature Division



New books shelved on Bookcase 1 for 9 months, 6 months if space is needed.


Recommended fiction is on the display pyramid.

Rotating book displays on topics relating to BPL programs and special events.


General fiction, Westerns, and Horror (all interfiled), Science Fiction and Mysteries are shelved on the Flatbush Avenue side.

The OPAC message will tell the staff where the books are located.

Romance novels are on the Flatbush Avenue side along with fiction, mysteries, and scifi.


General hardcover/trade paperback fiction is on regular shelves Bookcase 6 to 19.

Hardcover/ trade paperbacks mysteries Bookcase 20 to 23.

The Science fiction is in back of room on regular shelves Bookcase 23 to 25 following the end of the fiction.

All fiction is shelved A - Z by author’s last name.

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On the wall starting at the front of the room on the loading dock side, fiction then nonfiction., biography.

Nothing stored in the deck.

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Following the large print, on the loading dock side, assignment fiction and nonfiction.

Fiction is organized by author’s last name and nonfiction (many plays) by call number.

This is the only adult assignment collection in the BPL system.

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Following assignment books are Monarch, Sparks and Cliff’s Notes shelved by the last name of author. ILOC 14anf


Located on loading dock side shelves in front of window sills and display case- no ILOC in OPAC, There is the graphic novel genre label with the OPAC message “graphic novel “in Millennium. The call number is FIC author’s last name.

Additional titles including Manga are shelved in YAS which has a YA ILOC. Comic compilation collections are shelved in AMMS with the 741 call number.


800-899 on regular shelves on the Flatbush Avenue side past the Reference Desk.

Nonfiction Bookcase 12-16.

000-429 are in the back of the room along the wall by the loading dock side.

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004 and 005 Computer books are located in SST on the second floor.

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Language learning books, bilingual dictionaries and ESOL materials are shelved in the WLL area.

Books on Linguistics, history and evolution of a language are shelved in LL area’s left hand corner towards the loading dock . Call number ranges 430-499.

Historical dictionaries are shelved in deck one.

English language dictionaries are 423

428 – Grammar, Vocabulary, Spelling

Bilingual poetry can be shelved both in WLL and LLF.

Check the ILOC to determine which area owns the book.

These books may or may not have a language prefix before the call number. The OPAC message “bilingual” is used with all bilingual items.


A limited reference collection is shelved on the Flatbush Avenue side of the building.

This collection focuses on directories, handbooks and encyclopedia format materials.

All monographs with the exception of Shakespeare have been removed and made either division or deck circulating.

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Poetry Criticism, Drama Criticism, Short Story Criticism, Poetry for Students, Drama for Students, Novels for Students, Epics for Students, Black Literature Criticism, Black Authors, and more are shelved at the reference desk and require I.D.

The “for student” series and the Gale criticism series receive heavy use from junior high, high school and college students for literary criticism assignments

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Important books on publishing such as LMP, Writer’s Market titles and Literary Agents(previous editions of above titles circulate) are shelved at the desk, as well as ALA Directory and style books (MLA, APA, Chicago and Turabian) and require I.D.

Literary Movements for Students, Harlem Renaissance, Literature and Its Times, and World Literature and Its Times address the current practice of teachers to give assignments that require information on the historical and cultural background of the literary work.

Students requiring information in greater depth are referred to SST and HBR.

Indices to Gale Reference Books are kept at the reference desk to be used to look up the work and/or author and refer the user to the appropriate volumes of the following on regular shelves to the right of the reference desk:

20th Century Literary Criticism (TCLC)

19th Century Literature Criticism (NCLC)

Literature Criticism from 1400-1800 (LC) – Deck 2

Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism (CWLL) – Deck 2

Shakespearean Criticism (SC) – Deck 2

Contemporary Authors (CA, CANR) – Deck 2


 The NCLC, CWLL, SC and CA/CANR are not up to date.

DLB Dictionary of Literary Biography is good source for information about many nonliterary prose writers, such as John Stuart Mill, Martin Luther King, and many other nonfiction writers with some commentary on their writings.

Other reference books shelved in this area are Oxford English Dictionary and basic English dictionaries and the 420’s reference collection.

Ready Reference Titles are located on low bookcase facing the paperback shelves behind the reference desk:

Sets of literary criticism (poetry, drama, fiction)

Masterplots series

Genre directories (science fiction, mystery, romance,)

Ethnic author directories (African, African American, American, British, Classical, Hispanic, Women, gay &lesbian)



  • Materials of fiction and non-fiction in the following languages are available

Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, French, German, Haitian Creole, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu, Yiddish, Gujarati, Punjabi, Vietnamese

  • Materials of fiction and non-fiction in the following languages must be requested from storage

Albanian, Croatian, Czech, Dutch, Hindi, Romanian

  • Reference

Bilingual Dictionaries, encyclopedia, literature (bibles in HBR)

  • Languages Learning material Audio is in the Popular Library on the second floor.

ESOL, World Languages (WLL) books are shelved alphabetically from A-Z.

Audio materials (WLL) in French, Italian, Spanish, and other languages as well as,

books with CDs are on the second floor in the popular library.

  • Magazines are in the Popular Library on the second floor.

Chinese, French, Hebrew, Japanese, Spanish, Russian

The software of the languages on Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian,

Japanese, Russian, Spanish, Hebrew and Portuguese is installed in the designated

computer. ID held for using headphones.


Urban fiction list

Assignment list

Call number list

Periodical materials – PW, LJ, Choice

WLL – shelving order list



Academic Search Premier – Articles from academic journals.

Black Drama, Black Short Fiction and Folklore, Black Woman Writers and Caribbean Literature, African American Experience, Black Thought and Culture can be used to locate resources on plays, short stories, novels, literary criticism and other information relating to the literature of the African Diaspora.

Historical New York Times 1851-2004- search for book reviews and other information published in the New York Times. This can only be accessed from Central Library computers.

JSTOR- use the advanced search, limit by discipline(language & literature 109 journals, linguistics 6 journals, African American studies 13 journals, Asian studies 30 journals) can be used to find literary criticism, book reviews, author interviews and historical information. Using the specific ethnic studies groupings can be helpful to find information on specific ethnic authors.

Literature Resource Center and Twayne’s Authors Series provide biographical and criticism resources

LitFinder- search for short stories, poems, essay, plays and speeches

Located on the reference desk computers is the LLF Blog.

This Blog is a collection of internet links which can be used by the librarians to answer queries for the public.

Example of the types of questions which can be answered are- Names of Urban fiction authors or Christian fiction authors, the latest book award winners, dictionaries, literary criticism resources, book reviews and poetry. http:/languageliterature.blogspot.com


The Book Review Index and Book Review Digest is on Deck 1 and Deck 2.

To find the current holdings information, access the serial record in the OPAC and Millennium.

In the view box located below the holdings box – click on check-in which will bring up the serial check-in record- click on this record to then view the latest copy received.


LL has nonfiction stored on Decks 1(000, 400) and Deck 2(800) and fiction on Deck 4.

The deck fiction collection and nonfiction 800 has been inventoried and all items are linked.

Items published from 1900 to present are circulating, fragile materials and books published in the 19th century or earlier are reference.


We also host visiting authors to conduct writing workshops for the public.

  • World Language Conversations by volunteers and staff (No registration required)

       Chinese  French Portuguese Russian Spanish Italian, and Japanese.

  • Multicultural workshops are hosted by LL e.g. I- Ching Studies.
  • Writing workshops

All program details are subject to change. For updated information, please visit our web-site at http://www.bklynlibrary.org//locations/central/lang-lit

The LL staff fills many holds for patrons.

Monday is the heaviest day for holds due to the quantity placed on the weekend. On average 300 titles are pulled on Monday and the monthly average is 4000 books.


ILL picks up at the reference desk.

Holds pick up at Bookcase 2 to 5

Book calls pick up at the reference desk

For more information contact the Division staff at 718-230-2133.