Tuesday Thingers


This week’s question posed by Wendi:

Prior to today, were you aware of Open Shelves Classification? Have you helped to classify any books yet? Is this something you are interested in? Did you know that if you classify any books, it will also show you who else has classified the book?

My answer:

I read something on the LT blog about the Open Shelves Classification a while ago and took a look at the discussion group, but I didn’t really follow it up.

The Dewey Decimal System has its problems, particularly with some numbers being heavily used and some pretty much redundant and with issues of rights to use and display the details, but I’m used to it.

When I look up a book in the library I don’t think about what its number means, I just go and look for where that number lives.

But there’s no harm in looking to see if there’s something better so I’ve had a go at categorising a few of my books.

The new system doesn’t seem to solve some of the issues I have at the moment. For example, does the biography of a historical figure go in biography or history? I still don’t know!

But if libraries could display a full explanation of book classification, which they can’t with Dewey, wouldn’t that be a very good thing?

4 responses

  1. I am really, really surprised to learn that there are controversies about who can use the Dewey Decimal System! It gives weight to my theory that librarians invented it so only they would know where the good books were hidden.

  2. I know what you mean about Dewey – there’s always a lot of room for argument about how any particular book should be classified, and that can be confusing. But I think any system of classification is bound to have those same confusing elements. I guess I should pay a little closer attention to what they’re doing with OSC – maybe it’s the answer to the problem.

  3. I am also of the mind that whatever the system, I will just look for the book I want wherever it might be. I never did understand Dewey…but I am not sure this is better.

  4. Yep – I guess the nice thing about Dewey Decimal is that it is easy to find the numbers. 🙂

    Thanks for stopping by and participating in Thingers last week! I’ve got this weeks post up now! ~ Wendi

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