Classification: The librarian's numbers game


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Classification: The librarian's numbers game

  1. 1. Spring 2012 LIB 630 Classification and CatalogingClassificationThe Librarians’ Numbers Game or Doing the Dewey Thing
  2. 2. 2What is Classification? Classification The process of dividing objects or concepts into logically hierarchical classes, subclasses, and sub-subclasses based on the characteristics they have in common and those that distinguish them. Also used as a shortened form of the term classification system or classification scheme. See also: Cataloging and Classification Section and cross-classification. Online Dictionary of Library and Information Science
  3. 3. 3Classification system? classification system A list of classes arranged according to a set of pre-established principles for the purpose of organizing items in a collection, or entries in an index, bibliography, or catalog, into groups based on their similarities and differences, to facilitate access and retrieval. In the United States, most library collections are classified by subject. Classification systems can be enumerative or hierarchical, broad or close. In the United States, most public libraries use Dewey Decimal Classification, but academic and research libraries prefer Library of Congress Classification. See also: Classification Society of North America, Colon Classification, and notation.
  4. 4. 4The Wikipedia version Library classification – A library classification is a system of coding and organizing library materials (books, serials, audiovisual materials, computer files, maps, manuscripts, realia) according to their subject and allocating a call number to that information resource. Similar to classification systems used in biology, bibliographic classification systems group entities that are similar together typically arranged in a hierarchical tree structure.
  5. 5. 5More of the Wikipedia definition Library classification (cont.) – In terms of functionality, classification systems are often described as • enumerative: produce an alphabetical list of subject headings, assign numbers to each heading in alphabetical order • hierarchical: divides subjects hierarchically, from most general to most specific • faceted or analytico-synthetic: divides subjects into mutually exclusive orthogonal facets
  6. 6. 6Dewey Decimal and Library of Congress Where do these systems fit? The most common classification systems, LC and DDC, are essentially enumerative, though with some hierarchical and faceted elements, (more so for DDC), especially at the broadest and most general level. The first true faceted system was the Colon classification of S. R. Ranganathan.
  7. 7. 7Library of Congress classification Library of Congress classification The Library of Congress Classification (LCC) is a system of library classification developed by the Library of Congress. It is used by most research and academic libraries in the U.S. and several other countries; for example, Australia[1][2] and Taiwan, R.O.C.[3] .
  8. 8. 8More about LCC Library of Congress Classification (LCC) A system of classifying books and other library materials developed and maintained over the last 200 years by the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. In LCC, human knowledge is divided into 20 broad categories indicated by single letters of the roman alphabet, with major subdivisions indicated by a second letter, and narrower subdivisions by decimal numbers and further alphabetic notation. Example: LC call number: PE 3727.N4 M34 1994
  9. 9. 9LCC example explained LC call number: PE 3727.N4 M34 1994 In the example given above (assigned to the book Juba to Jive: A Dictionary of African-American Slang edited by Clarence Major), P represents the main class “Language and literature,” PE the class “English language,” 3727 the subclass “English slang,” and N4 African Americans as a special group. M34 is the Cutter number for the editor’s surname and 1994 is the year of publication.
  10. 10. 10More about LCC Understanding Call NumbersFor an overview of theLibrary of Congressclassification system, see theLibrary of CongressClassification outline, whichshows the letters and titles ofmain classification classes andis offered online by theLibrary of CongressCataloging Policy andSupport Office.
  11. 11. 11Is LCC just used by LC? Used by most other academic and research libraries in North America This system is in use at the Library of Congress and at many academic and research libraries in Canada and the United States. Few, if any, K-12 schools use LCC, except perhaps college prep schools, like Riverside Military Academy (grades 7-12, with about 100% college acceptance)
  12. 12. 12Any other common systems? SuDocs The Superintendent of Documents Classification System (a system for government documents) SuDocs call numbers begin with letters which stand for the issuing government agency For a list of classes in the SuDoc department classification system, click HERE. After the department, other codes are added which represent agencies, the specific item, and date. Adelaide R. E.g. C 3.134/2 : C 83/2/994 Hasse C=Dept. of Commerce, 3=Census Bureau, 134/2 : means Developer of the Statistical Abstract Supplement, C 83/2/994 shows this is Superintendent the County and City Data Book, 1994 of Documents Classification System in (1895)
  13. 13. 13Another commonly used system Universal Decimal Classification The Universal Decimal Classification (UDC) is the worlds foremost multilingual classification scheme for all fields of knowledge, a sophisticated indexing and retrieval tool. It was adapted by Paul Otlet (Rayward’s Otlet page; Wikipedia entry ) and Nobel Prizewinner Henri La Fontaine from the Decimal Classification of Melvil Dewey, and first published (in French) between 1904 and 1907. Since then, it has been extensively revised and developed, and has become a highly flexible and effective system for organizing bibliographic records for all kinds of information in any medium (it is well suited to multi-media information collections). [Used mostly in Europe or Anglophone countries outside North America] What is the UDC? See also UDC Flyer 2001(Word document)
  14. 14. 14What do we do with Dewey? Who is Dewey?
  15. 15. 15No, thedead one – Melville Dewey (1851-1931) invented the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) while he was working as a student-assistant in the library of Amherst College in 1873. He published the Dewey Decimal Classification system in 1876. – His original name was Melville Louis Kossuth Dewey. He dropped his middle names and changed the spelling of his first name, and he Melville even spelled his last name “Dui”!Dewey, founder of the • Biography of Melville Dewey Lake Placid Club Dewey Decimal in the UIUC Bookstacks
  16. 16. 16Other accomplishments of Dewey Spelling reformer In 1876 Dewey was involved in the foundation of the Spelling Reform Association of which he was Secretary for almost all his life. About the English language Dewey writes: “Speling Skolars agree that we hav the most unsyentifik, unskolarli, illojikal & wasteful speling ani languaj ever ataind.”
  17. 17. 17 Lets Do DeweyClick on the appropriate Dewey to begin the Libraryexercise on the Dewey Decimal Classification System • From a tutorial by Middle Tennessee State University Todd Library 3/97 Murfreesboro, TN 37132
  18. 18. 18Dewey Call numbers vs. LCC What Is a Call Number? A unique identification number Each book (or other item) has its own unique call number which is taped to the lower outside edge of the books spine. The call number is also written or taped inside the book, usually on the reverse side (verso) of the title page. A miniature subject formula Books written about the same subject have similar call numbers, which groups them together on the shelf, making it easier for you to browse the librarys holdings on a specific topic. A location code
  19. 19. 19There are 2 basic parts to a call number The SUBJECT part and the AUTHOR part. In the Library of Congress Classification... Subject - This part is made up of 2 letters plus 1 to 4 (or more) digits. Author - This part begins with a letter that corresponds to the first letter of the authors last name, followed by a series of numbers. For example, if you had a book by Jeffrey Pfeffer entitled The Human Equation: Building Profits by Putting People First, The Library of Congress call number might be HF 5386 .P5468
  20. 20. 20In the Dewey Decimal Classification...Subject –This part is made up of all numbers, ranging from 3 to 10 or more digits (depending on how narrowly focused the topic of the book).Author – This part begins with a letter that matches the first letter of the authors last name, followed by 2 or 3 numbers, and then usually another letter that matches the first letter of the first word of the title.For the book by Jeffrey Pfeffer entitled The Human Equation:Building Profits by Putting People First:The Dewey call number might be 658.314 P524h
  21. 21. 21How do these numbers work? Library of Congress: HF = The section for books about commerce 5386 = Books about success in business .P5468 = Represents the author’s last name [This is the Cutter number] Dewey: 658.314 = The number for books about motivating employees P524h = P524 stands for the authors last name (Pfeffer); “h” for the first word of the title (Human) [This is the Cutter number] Adapted from Making Call Numbers Work For You
  22. 22. 22How DDC works Organization of knowledge The DDC attempts to organize all knowledge into ten main classes that, excluding the first class (000 Computers, information and general reference), proceed from the divine (philosophy & religion) to the mundane (history & geography). DDC’s cleverness is in choosing decimals for its categories; this allows it to be both purely numerical and infinitely hierarchical. – Older version of Dewey Decimal Classification article, section 1 Design
  23. 23. 23Dewey’s main classes The system is made of up ten categories:
  24. 24. 24Subdividing from the main classes From the general to the specific: Each of the above classes each have ten divisions. These divisions are further divided--and then further divided. Each division becomes more specific. The more numbers, the more specific the subject. In this way, the Dewey classification system progresses from the general to the specific. For a detailed summary for each number see the Dewey Decimal Classification System. The decimal place is used to make the number even more specific. Let’s do Dewey
  25. 25. 25Try catching a butterfly with Dewey! Start with the class for natural sciences, the 500’s This means that the first number of the call number will be a 5 The 10 divisions of the 500 class are: 510 Mathematics 520 Astronomy 530 Physics 540 Chemistry 550 Earth Sciences From 560 Paleontology Lets Do Dewey, 570 Life Sciences What is a call number? 580 Botanical Sciences 590 Zoological Sciences
  26. 26. 26Butterflies in Dewey Butterflies will be classified under the Zoological Sciences 590 Now we know that the second number of the call number will be a 9 Lets see the divisions of the 590’s to find the next number. The Zoological Sciences, the 590’s, are divided into ten divisions also Insects, including butterflies would be under 595. The 595’s are further divided by the use of decimals to specify what type of insects From Lets Do Dewey, What is a call number?
  27. 27. 27Begin to get the picture? 500--Natural Science 590--Zoological Sciences 595--Other invertebrates 595.7--Insects From 595.78--Lepidoptera Lets Do Dewey, What is a call number? 595.789--Butterflies
  28. 28. 28Ways to remember the main Dewey classes1. One day, while Melvil Dewey was walking in Central Park, he saw a UFO. He became terrified of it, and ran to take cover. More . . . A STORY ABOUT THE DEWEY2. DECIMAL SYSTEM OF CLASSIFICATION Who am I? 100s PHILOSOPHY AND PSYCHOLOGY (Man thinks about himself.) Who made me? RELIGION AND MYTHOLOGY 200s (Man thinks about God.) More . . .
  29. 29. 29What does the call number mean?
  30. 30. 30Cutter numbers Cutter? Among his other contributions to the wonderful world of librarianship, Charles Ammi Cutter devised a way to assign an alpha-numeric code for authors’ last names. Use of this system allows all books within a particular Dewey Decimal number to be arranged alphabetically on the shelf, usually by title. The Cutter Number from Dewey Decimal in the UIUC Bookstacks
  31. 31. 31 Let’s go Cuttering!Cutter numbersThe cutter number for a book usually consists of the first letter of the authors last name and a series of numbers. This series of numbers comes from a table that is designed to help maintain an alphabetical arrangement of names. Conley, Ellen C767 Conley, Robert C768 Cook, Robin C77 Cook, Thomas C773What if the library has several works by the same author? How do we keep the call number unique? To do that a work mark or work letter is used to distinguish the various works of a single author. Cook, Robin Acceptable Risk 813.54 C77a Cook, Robin Fever 813.54 C77f
  32. 32. 32Several books by the same authorBe aware that cutter numbers can differ from library to library!Some use 3 numbers as here, others (especially school libraries) may only use the first letter of the author’s last name
  33. 33. 33How do you create a Dewey number?Classifying a work properly depends first upon determining the subject of the work in hand. A key element in determining the subject is the author’s intent. The title is often a clue to the subject, but should never be the sole source of analysis. For example, Who Moved My Cheese? is a work on coping with change, not a work related to the culinary arts. The table of contents; chapter headings or subheadings Preface, introduction and/or foreword Scanning the text Book jacket blurbs Bibliographic references, index entries Outside sources, such as reviews, reference works and subject experts DDC 22 Introduction, paragraphs 5.1 and 5.1, with slight modifications
  34. 34. 34A PowerPoint about creating DDC numbers
  35. 35. 35Example Saltwater Fishing in the Gulf of Mexico by James Ferguson This book is about fishing, which is included as a part of the 700 class. In fact, the class subdivision 799 is designated as Fishing, Hunting, and Shooting. Within this class, there are more decimal subclasses that provide a very detailed Dewey description of this book. The Dewey number 799.166 describes the subject matter of the book. Major Dewey Class 700 The Arts Dewey SubClass: 790 Recreational & Perf. Arts Dewey SubClass: 799 Fishing, Hunting, Shooting Subdivision 799.1 Fishing Subdivision 799.16 Saltwater Fishing Subdivision 799.166 Saltwater Fishing in Specific Bodies of Water Where does the Dewey Decimal Number come from? No longer available online
  36. 36. 36How do you create the number? You build it! 1. Determine what the book is about 2. Decide which main class it fits under • i.e. is it General (000-099), Philosophy (100-199), Religion (200-299), etc.? 3. Does it fit into one of the subdivisions in the main class? • e.g. if it’s religion (200s), is it related to the Bible (220-229), or is it the Koran (290-299 Other religions and sects) 4. Decide the more specific area it’s related to (i.e. the third number before the decimal • e.g. We’ve decided it’s related to the Bible (220s). Is it a general Bible reference or encyclopedia? Then it’s 220. something. Is it related to the Old Testament? Then it’s 222. something. The New Testament is 225 and up. If it’s from the Gospels, it’s 226. something. Matthew’s gospel is 226.2 See this list of Bible-related call numbers. 5. If you need additional detail, to indicate more specific aspects, like geographical, historical, or other details, use the Subdivision tables See the following slides!
  37. 37. 37Additional additions to Dewey Numbers Standard subdivisions A standard subdivision represents a recurring physical form (such as a dictionary, periodical, or index) or approach (such as history or research) and thus is applicable to any subject or discipline that covers or approximates the whole of the meaning of the number. Introduction to Dewey Decimal Classification, para. 8.3 For example, if the item being cataloged is a magazine, the Standard Subdivision –05 could be used with the notation for the subject to indicate this. Or an agricultural dictionary can be indicated by using the correct notation for the subject from the schedules, and adding the notation –03 from Table 1 to indicate a dictionary. Examples from
  38. 38. 38Other examples of Standard Subdivisions 150.5 Periodical on psychology 230.003 Dictionary of Christianity 340.02573 Directory of lawyers in the U.S. 401 Philosophy of language 507.8 Use of apparatus and equipment in the study and teaching of science, e.g., science fair projects 624.0285 Computer applications in civil engineering 796.912092 Biography of a figure skater 808.0071 Teaching of rhetoric Some examples have added a 0 after the decimal, because of instructions in schedules Introduction to DDC, para. 8.3
  39. 39. 39Where do you find these subdivisions? In schedules or Table 1 of the Dewey schedules (book or series of books that are the Dewey reference) Standard subdivisions may be listed in the schedules when the subdivisions have special meanings, when extended notation is required for the topic in question, or when notes are required. The rest of standard subdivisions from Table 1 may be used with their regular meanings. DDC Introduction, para. 8.4
  40. 40. 40Other subdivisions Table 2: Geographic Areas, Historical Periods, Persons The major use of Table 2 is with notation 09 from Table 1, where it can be added to every number in the schedule unless there are specific instructions to the contrary. For example, reading instruction in the primary schools of Australia is 372.40994 (372.4 reading instruction in primary schools + 09 Historical, geographic, persons treatment from Table 1 + 94 Australia from Table 2). DDC Intro, para.8.12
  41. 41. 41Tables 3-6 Table 3 Subdivisions for the Arts, for Individual Literatures, for Specific Literary Forms These subdivisions are used in class 800 as instructed Table 4 Subdivisions of Individual Languages and Language Families These subdivisions are used as instructed in class 400, following numbers for designated specific languages or language families in 420 – 490 Table 5 Ethnic and National Groups May only be added when specified in a note Table 6 Languages The major uses of Table 6 notation are to provide the basis for building a specific language number in 490 . . . and to provide the basis for building a specific literature number in 890. DDC Intro, paras 8.14-8.18
  42. 42. 42What about letters BEFORE the numbers? Prefixes – Libraries sometimes add letters before the numbers to indicate if the item belongs to specific collection (like R or REF for reference) or a particular size (some libraries might use OS for oversized), or the level ( J or JUV for juvenile, for example, or E for easy or early reader), or type of material (VIDEO or DVD, etc.). A complete call number could look like this: See Anatomy of a Call Number
  43. 43. 43Where should we get the schedules? Recommendation: Dewey, Melvil and J. S. Mitchell. Abridged Dewey Decimal Classification and Relative Index. 14th ed. Albany, NY: Forest Press, 2004. For libraries with collections of 20,000 titles or fewer, the abridged edition of the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) system provides the level of detail needed to classify the materials in those collections. Dewey services : Latest versions : Abridged Edition 14
  44. 44. 44DDC Abridged Edition 15 is now available!
  45. 45. 45If you’re a bigger library? Four printed volumes help keep your collections organized – DDC 23, the four-volume unabridged edition of the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) system, reflects the many changes to the body of human knowledge that have occurred since DDC 22 was published in 2003. Published in mid-2011, DDC 23 includes helpful tools that make the classification easier to use.
  46. 46. 46Is it available online? Abridged WebDewey Even if your collection holds fewer than 20,000 titles, you can experience the power of the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) system on the Web. Abridged WebDewey gives you access to an enhanced version of the Abridged 14 database. Abridged WebDewey is part of the OCLC suite of cataloging and metadata services that OCLC offers through the OCLC Connexion service. Logon at Let our demo show you how WebDewey works! WebDewey 2.0: an overview See also Abridged WebDewey User Guide
  47. 47. 47Websites to learn Dewey
  48. 48. 48