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Learn Dewey Decimal Classification (ed 22) has arrived! Chapter one.

Posted by arlekeno on July 9, 2012

Introduction to Classification.

I like the aims so far.

Purposes of library classification is to

  1. Bring related items together in a helpful sequence.
  2. Provide Formal orderly access to the shelves through browsing or catalogue searching
  3. Enable easy re-shelving of material
  4. Provide an order for the classification catalogue.

All good and well so far. the Features of a classification scheme are also pretty obvious. Interesting to hear the types of Classification schemes though.

  • Enumerative- all of the subject concepts, e.g. LCC
  • Synthetic –  A mix of single and composite subjects, e.g. Colon Classification
  • Hierarchical – DIvision by subjetc, general to specific, e.g. DDC.

This of course makes me wish I knew more about the other classifiers, I am at least aware of Library of Congress, but not the others.

The Criteria for a good Classifcation scheme on Page 7 all make sense.

As for Exercise 1.2: My first choice would be geography, then climate, then species etc.

for 1.1. I went again with Animals, (I thought music was a bit general)

All in all though, I like the acknowledgement of the need of the user. If we are not meeting the needs of the user, we are userless and soon useless.

Revision Quiz 1.3

1)  Give 3 reasons for classifying a library

Easy enough, I already typed them in. To bring like books together, so that they can be found using a catalogue or by browsing. And for easy re-shelving.

2) What is the difference between Enumerative and synthetic classification? give examples. 

Enumerative classification tries to include all Single and Composite subjects required, e.g. LCC  whereas Synthetic lists numbers for Single concepts and allows the synthesising of numbers for composite subjects, e.g. Universal Decimal Classification

OK, I have a problem here, what exactly is meant by Single v Composite subjects, and I still need to find out about these other systems. 

3) In what orders are classification schedules arranged? Why?

Numeric? I am not sure if I should include the notation-index-number building part here or the Generalities class-form classes-form divisions. I think I have missed the crux of this question, time to check the back of the book Ok, they mean, in number order, so we can see the relationships between the numbers, I wonder if they mean close numbers, or when the DDC books talk about a number V another number.

4) What is number building? Why is it a desirable feature of a classification scheme? 

Using numbers already existing to build a new number for a subject not specifically mentioned, good for flexibility. Also allows to save space in the schedules, will this be relevant when the schedules are online and space is not that big a deal? 

5) What is Hierarchical classification? how does it work? 

Subjects are divided from General to Specific, E.g. DDC 500s for sciences, then broken down into branches of science and then specialties there in.

6) Why should a library consider the nature of its client group when it classifies its materials?

I would say our first job is making a library useful to its users, arranging items so they are easier for the students to locate would make sense. Not doing so would diminish our usefulness and waste everyone’s times. (though the book says something about classifications and numbers together to be most useful, which is what I said).


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