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Creating a call number to SCIS standards

Posted by arlekeno on September 18, 2012

This is a brief  summary of the process you have learnt for creating call numbers to DDC and SCIS standards:

1. Analyse the item carefully.

2. Determine if it is fiction or non-fiction by SCIS standards for classification (3:E2).

3. If the item is fiction assign an F.

4. If the item is non-fiction determine its specific subject, then locate/build the appropriate DDC23/WebDewey 2.0 number for that subject.

5. Check the appropriate section of SCIS standards for classification (3:E3-3:E18 plus 3:C and 3:D where appropriate) to determine what changes, if any, need to be made to the class number.

6. Assign the appropriate book number (3:E1).

Test your understanding of this process by completing the following exercise. You are not expected to create the book number, just the class number.

Exercise 26

Create full call numbers to SCIS standards for the following items. Answers are at the end of this module.

a. A critical work on the short stories of Henry Lawson by Pat Le Bruin.

Class number  = A823.2 following SCIS decision (3:E18) to use the optional A.Book no.         =  LAW following SCIS decision (3:E1 special book number) for commentaries and critical works.  (21.4A1 AACR2)
Call no. A823.2
b. Seven little Australians (a picture book version of this novel created by John Horne. Original work by Ethel Turner).

Class number   = F following SCIS decision (3:E2) with regard to fiction.Book no.          =  TUR following SCIS decision (3:E1) on abridgements and adaptions of fiction.  (21.10A AACR2)
Call no F
c. Traumatic incidents in schools: Guidelines for staff for counselling students (title) by D. Owen, M. Lankford, P. Hehir and S. Zhang.REALLY had to poke around a lot to get this one. Was in pastoral care in 200s, then Psychology in 600s.

Class number      =  371.46, no SCIS decision for this number.
Book no              = TRA (3:E1 simple book number, title main entry)  (21.6C2    AACR2)
Call no 371.46
d. The illustrated collection of Mother Goose’s nursery rhymes illustrated by Jane Surrey.Have to remember to Use MOTHER GOOSE as main entry here.

Class number
Book no.Call no.
=  398.8, using SCIS decision 3:E2 ‘Picture books’.
=  MOT (3:E1 simple book number, title main entry)
(21.5A1 AACR2)
=  398.8
e. The Wagga Wagga Agricultural Show edited by Allan Gibbons-Fly.394.60994 (Fairs + 09 Aus)    GIB See 3:E15

630.74 p. 295
Class here agricultural shows. Class general works
on fairs, that is, where there is an equal emphasis
on sideshows in 394.6.\

And it is EDITED By GIB, not written.

Class number
Book no.Call no.
=  630.74 following SCIS decision (3:E15) on agricultural shows
=  WAG  (3:E1 simple book number, title main entry)
(21.6C2 AACR2)
=  630.74
f. The discovery and exploration of Antarctica by Peter Hi.I don’t understand the .9 Maybe because teh .92 and .91 for discovery and explorers are subordinate to the 9?

f. Class number       = 998.9 following SCIS decision (3:E18) on exploration and explorers.
Book no.              = HI following SCIS decision (3:E1 simple book number)
(21.4A1 AACR2)
Call no. 998.9
g. A play closely based on the traditional tale The three little pigs by the German Playwright, Heidi Van Moln.I disagreed, i thought they wanted it placed with the original. BUT here is what SCIS 3 says

In general, not
much weight is given to the level of presentation when determining where to class adaptations,
and it is preferable to put them with the original unless the form of the new version is
important. For example, a play version of a children‟s fiction title or folk tale is classed in drama
rather than with the original.

Class number  =  832 following SCIS decision (3:E17) on translations, retellings and adaptions.
Book no. =  VAN as Van Moln is the author of the play which SCIS recognises as separate to the original work.  (21.10A AACR2)
(3:E1 simple book number)
Call number 832
h. A fictional Christmas story in French by Pierre Lüddecke.

Class number  =  F following SCIS decision 3:E2 ‘Relation to DDC 800’
Book no.         =  LUD following SCIS decision (3:E1 simple book number, author main entry)  (21.4A AACR2)
Call number F
i. The harvesting of rice crops in northeastern India by Mary MacPherson.At least I had 633.1  and the 09541, not sure about the 8 or double 5.

 Class number  =  633.185509541 (building within schedules plus Tables 1 and 2)Following SCIS guidelines on truncation (3:D4) a logical point to cut would be 633.1855 (Harvesting rice crops)
Book no.         =  MAC following SCIS decision (3:E1 simple book number, author main entry)  (21.4A AACR2)
Call no. 633.1855
j. Workshop manual for EH Holdens (sedan passenger car) produced by General Motors Holden.Had the 629.8 and I get the 7, note sure about the 22 (unless that is teh specifically named bit and the 7 joins).

j. Class Number
Book no.
= 629.28722
= HOL following SCIS decision at 3:E16 (629.2222) and 3:E1 ‘Special book numbers- Dewey instructions for subarrangement’.
Call no. 629.28722


Further practise in creating call numbers to SCIS standards can be obtained by classifying items which you know are on the SCIS database and checking your work. SCIS call numbers are normally, though not always, correct and there is, on occasion, an element of subjectivity.

Classification and the individual school library

While SCIS provides classification numbers on its bibliographic records, there are still decisions that the individual teacher librarian needs to make on classification.

The first decision the teacher librarian must make on classification is which level of classification ADDC14 (soon to be ADDC15) or DDC23 is most appropriate to the users and the collection. Frequently this decision is made for the teacher librarian by the education authority there school belongs to. Where the school has freedom to choose the level of classification it uses the decision needs to be carefully considered as it has long term implications.

The teacher librarian must also decide what location devices need to be added to SCIS call numbers within the school library catalogue to reflect the organisation of, and subdivisions within, the collection and to assist in the exact location of materials. SCIS recognises the need for location devices but leaves that decision to individual libraries.


3:C5 and 3:C7 (p. 3-5) which give the SCIS position on location devices.

When a school library acquires an item for which there is no cataloguing record on SCIS then the teacher librarian is responsible for creating a call number which is compatible with SCIS classification standards so that the classification of material within that collection is logical and consistent.


3:C1  (p. 3-4) which recognises that there will be some local cataloguing.

The appropriate level of Dewey Decimal Classification and SCIS Standards are the appropriate tools to apply here. Even with these tools at hand it is not uncommon to also check if there is already a DDC number assigned for the work. This may be taken from the CIP for the work, where there is one, or major catalogues, where DDC numbers are assigned to records, can be used, for example, Libraries Australia.   Dewey numbers located from such sources should of course be checked against DDC23 or ADDC14 and SCIS classification standards.

Teacher librarians sometimes feel the need to alter call numbers on SCIS catalogue records when they believe the place SCIS has assigned certain items to is not in the best interests of their users. Aspects of SCIS decisions on what is fiction and what is non fiction, for example, frequently raise the ire of some teacher librarians who feel that SCIS decisions in this regard do not accurately reflect the needs/circumstances of their users. Another common point of contention is the length of Dewey class numbers. In both instances the teacher librarian must carefully weigh any advantages of making such changes to SCIS records against the time and effort required to make them, now and into the future.

For all these areas a record of decisions made should be recorded as policy, while detailed information on how they will be carried out should be included in a procedures manual.




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