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Classifying fiction (according too the Schools Catalogue Information Service)

Posted by arlekeno on September 17, 2012

Classifying fiction

A major classification variation from Dewey Decimal Classification made by SCIS is the decision to class all fiction items, including those in another language or in non book form at ‘F’. In other words instead of giving these items a DDC number they are given the letter F as their classification. The difficulty which arises here is that the distinction between what is fiction and what is non-fiction is not always clear cut.

Read3:C6 (3-5) which states the SCIS policy on the classification of fiction materials. And closely read 3E:2 (p.3-13 – 3-14) which gives the decisions and interpretations by which SCIS determines what is a fiction item and what is not.

Test your understanding of these decisions by completing the following exercise.

Exercise 24Using 3:E2 determine which of the following items would be classed as fiction and which would be classed as non fiction by SCIS standards. The answers are at the end of the study guide.

a. a collection of short (fictional) stories by Henry Lawson.No note in Scis beyond preferring F to 800s, class as F LAW
b. A novel written specifically for remedial readers.Fiction (see readers – individual work))
c. A critical work on the short (fictional) stories of Henry Lawson.Non-Fiction – Class in 800s as critical work.
d. A collection of ‘liberated’ fairy tales written by a feminist writer.F (see Fairy-Tales 3:E2)
e. A video tape of ‘Thomas the tank engine’ stories.F (see Films)
f. A simple picture book on farm animals.Non-Fiction (see picture books)
g. A picture book without words where the pictures tell a logical story.Fiction (see Picture books)
h. Mother Goose nursery rhymes.Non-Fiction (traditional rhymes, p 3-13)
i. A set of readers written by top Australian children’s novelists.Non-Fiction (its a set)
j. Ronald Dahl’s Revolting rhymes (a collection of short illustrated stories in verse form).Non-Fiction (rhymes/poetry, not fiction).

Can you see the logic that SCIS is following in the decisions it has made?

Are you comfortable with these decisions, or are there areas where you wish the decisions were different?

I am comfortable with the SCIS logic and decisions. I do wonder about some of the readers, but the decisions are understandable.

Quite frankly, I don’t think there would be enough room in a DDC using library if we did it another way.


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