Skip to Main Content
Main site homepage

Filing Rules: Basic Instructions

Brief guide to library filing rules.

Filing Rules

Image of two upright books with text that reads: Filing Rules
Even though library catalogs are now online, with built-in programming to create screen displays of search results in alphabetic (or other) order, and the software we use will arrange lists for us at the click of a mouse, there are still times we need filing rules to provide consistency in the arrangement of text, books, or files. 

For libraries that arrange titles by the author's last name, it may be necessary to refer to a set of filing rules to determine the proper sequencing of works. This guide provides basic information on the two main versions of filing rules, letter-by-letter and word-by-word, as well as further resources on arrangement and filing in libraries.