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Build the Open Shelves Classification

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Jul 8, 2008, 4:24pm Top

In response to the OSC call, one cataloger wrote characterized the difference between DDC and OSC as follows:
"Sounds like what OCLC staff are doing with DDC, which is in fact an international collaborative effort. (I guess the major failing here is that this is the collaboration of experts, who actually know what they're doing, rather than well-intentioned "users" who don't?)"

It seems to me, however, that many of those showing interest so far are in fact librarians, and some are catalogers. If anyone wants to speak up, confirming this fact, let me know.

Jul 8, 2008, 4:46pm Top

Librarian and cataloguer here.

Jul 8, 2008, 5:10pm Top

As posted in one of the other threads I am a librarian and occasional cataloger.

Jul 8, 2008, 5:17pm Top

Librarian and cataloger, and I'm the rare librarian who's worked with Dewey in an academic library, as well as LC.

Jul 8, 2008, 5:31pm Top

Librarian, having used both Dewey, LOC, and a few homegrowns here and there. I won't be able to chime in too much with the OSC (I've got too many dead libraries to worry about), but I'll follow along and chime in when I can. Unless, of course, we decide to go with Jefferson's system. Then I'm all in :-)

Jul 8, 2008, 5:55pm Top

I'm watching this thread as I work as a part-time (untrained) librarian for a small primary/elementary school. We use a color coded system loosely based on Dewey (I inherited this system) but when it comes to individual books I often catalog by asking myself "Where would you look first for this book?".

Jul 8, 2008, 6:33pm Top

I volunteer at my wife's Elementary School Library. When I'm not reading to the kids, I process new books -- rubber stamps, spine labels (therefore cataloging), mylar-cover the dust jacket, add stickers for various recognitions, AR ratings, and actually enter them into the catalog. Some book orders come with a CD with books ready to be loaded into the catalog, but MrsHouseLibary has the final say as to exactly which part of the DDS certain books belong. I've gotten pretty good at arguing a case, though.

I am the one who is solely in charge of cataloging our home library, so I have a vested interest in this Group.

Jul 8, 2008, 7:00pm Top

>rather than well-intentioned "users" . . .

However, I must confess to being entirely well-intentioned.

*hangs head in shame*

Jul 8, 2008, 7:21pm Top

I am a professional cataloger with significant DDC experience, especially in the 700s (arts).

I think we are doing exactly what OCLC does with the DDC--input and development by collaboration--only here we can have people who love and obsess about the minutia of the subject matter of their personal interests. These people, these "common users," know much more about the subjects becuase their hearts and souls are in them. Not to say that the DDC contributors aren't experts, but they are not the common user, who is, after all, the audience and user base of the classification system, and so materials should be classes accordin to how the common user thinks about them, rather than the scholar or librarian.

I mean, I really would like someday to meet the people who contibuted to the 746 (textile arts) schedules and ask them what kind of crack they're smoking. I can't for the life of me understand how anyone with any familiarity or common use of materials in that subject area would organize the schedules they way they are.

Jul 8, 2008, 8:04pm Top

I am a public librarian; however, I've only taken one semester of Cataloging, and I didn't do spectacularly well in it.

Edited: Jul 8, 2008, 9:58pm Top

I'm a librarian in training, currently about 1/2 way through my MLS program, so I'm coming at this with knowledge about the fundamentals and some of the limitations of the various existing systems, but no particular loyalties to any one way of doing things.

Jul 9, 2008, 12:29am Top

librarian (in training for my MLS, but working full time as a librarian at the national library of australia) and currently cataloging, with very minimal educational training. the NLA uses Dewey for its collection of between 9-12 million items. i'm still new enough to find dewey totally perplexing and nonsensical, but experienced enough to begin to see how it works.

Edited: Jul 9, 2008, 4:39am Top

#8 Katya...

Also 'well-intentioned user' ... but is that such a bad thing. I'm an expert in my field (which has nothing to do with cataloguing) and have an interest in this project from a layman's perspective. I recognise my own limitations, but that doesn't mean I have nothing constructive to contribute which those better qualified than myself can take on board. I've found that in the field I work in, some of the best ideas I've had have been sparked by something a 'non-expert' said that put a different perspective on my work. You live with something too long, you sometimes can't see the wood for the trees. If us laypeople were planning to compile the system, then there may have been a point to that kind of comment, but under solid custodianship of those better qualified than ourselves, why should it be a bad thing to have input from people who might see things from a different angle.

Jul 9, 2008, 8:13am Top

>13 klarusu:. . . .why should it be a bad thing to have input from people who might see things from a different angle.

Oh, I completely agree. You really do have to have input from both sides in order to create a workable system. Otherwise we cataloging geeks are likely to get so caught up in the system that we overlook things that are problematic for the users.

Jul 9, 2008, 8:27am Top

Now I would never have called you a cataloguing geek ;)

Jul 9, 2008, 8:45am Top

I just recently graduated with a Masters of Science in Information, specializing in Library & Information Services as well as Archives & Records Management. Currently I'm working as a Serials Cataloger (woohoo!) in a more or less archival setting.

Jul 9, 2008, 10:23am Top

>Now I would never have called you a cataloguing geek ;

Oooh, you would if you knew me! ;)

Jul 9, 2008, 11:43am Top

I have an MLS but I've never worked in a library - only tech jobs. I always wonder if that makes me a librarian or not.

Jul 9, 2008, 12:37pm Top

I have my MLIS and am cataloging archival collections using a not very thorough NASA taxonomy. I see subject access issues as pretty common in very specialized areas of cataloging. I feel that cataloging and libraries should not really assume that books are a preferred format to the level that they do. I often am cataloging ephemera (memos, reports, graphs, bibliographic lists, meeting minutes etc.) Even in my home library I have a lot of ephemera (menus, travel brochures, pamphlets, matchbooks, etc.) that I eventually want to get into Library thing. This is also a very important issue for emerging digital formats and a forward looking classification system.

Jul 9, 2008, 1:15pm Top

MLS but have worked primarily in (medical) reference and occasionally in a (Jewish) school library. I did have to do some cataloguing in the school library, but obviously we didn't use Dewey there.
My first library experience was in cataloguing, but that was almost 25 years ago.

Jul 9, 2008, 1:29pm Top

I'll be finishing my MLIS in December, and am about to start looking for cataloguing-centered jobs. I've worked with both LCCN (in public and academic libraries) and DDC (in a school library).

>6 hailelib:
Are the books just alphabetical within their color, or is there something more complicated going on?

Jul 9, 2008, 1:44pm Top


Jul 9, 2008, 2:17pm Top

3 weeks and I can say that yes, I'm a librarian. yay!

Jul 9, 2008, 2:21pm Top

Librarian here (no duh! couldn't tell that from my username could you?) Anyway - I'm a "faux cataloger" - I do some copy cataloging, and add some subject headings and create call numbers, but I don't catalog from scratch - I'm really a public services person...

(now if I could just find the time to deal with my own books - I'd have it made - anyone who looks at my collection will realize I tried to start adding to LibraryThing and haven't had time to start adding the real stuff, lol)

Jul 9, 2008, 4:05pm Top

Not a librarian and not a 'well-intentioned user', I am here strictly out of self-interest. From what I have seen of this group, I expect I will be using this system to find books in my local library in a few years so I might as well learn as much as I can about it. I might put in some comments from time to time, strictly in my own self-interest to make sure the system is as useful as possible to me.

Jul 9, 2008, 4:45pm Top

Librarian, cataloger, and library director. Should I duck now?

Jul 9, 2008, 4:47pm Top

I have an MLS, and I'm the LibraryThing for Libraries librarian - a rare thing indeed. My past work was in children's librarianship, so my views tend to skew towards the practical for lots of skinny books on things like dinosaurs.

I can attest that Katya0133 is indeed a cataloging geek of the highest order. I think she has a sword.

Edited: Jul 9, 2008, 6:40pm Top

I got my MSLIS in 2006 and am a frustrated cataloger (meaning I dearly want to be a fulltime cataloger but have to suffice with a clerk position until something better comes along!). This sounds like an interesting project, and with 10 years of bookstore experience under my belt as well I am intrigued by the possibilites.

Jul 9, 2008, 7:59pm Top

Librarian. Cataloguer. Haven't worked much with DDC but currently (mostly) work with the Pettee system (http://tinyurl.com/6zu534).

Jul 9, 2008, 8:47pm Top

Library student currently working on my fourth class at school which makes me very green. But I also have an MA in English literature if that makes any difference.

Jul 9, 2008, 10:26pm Top

I'm an academic librarian and cataloger. I have more experience in Dewey libraries than in LC ones, but I have experience in both of these and with the SuDoc system used by government publications.

Jul 9, 2008, 10:31pm Top

I'm interested. Definitely as librarian but not a cataloger. Current title: Technology Innovation Librarian. This idea may not be centrally "technology" but it's definitely "innovation".

Jul 9, 2008, 11:57pm Top

>29 hermitcl:

I'd love to hear more about Pettee—particular what, if anything, you've learned from it that would help here.

Jul 10, 2008, 12:34am Top

I am a public librarian and work in both cataloging and reference on a daily basis. I have been in mortal combat with the DDC for about 8 years.

Jul 10, 2008, 12:45am Top

*raises hand*

Public librarian with DDC cataloging experience.

Jul 10, 2008, 7:55am Top

>I can attest that Katya0133 is indeed a cataloging geek of the highest order. I think she has a sword.


Edited: Jul 10, 2008, 8:32am Top

Librarian, cataloguer, and teacher of cataloguing, subject indexing, and classification (and yes, I include tagging in that description and in my courses). To respond to an earlier question - the point of this thread was not to say that input from "plain folk" isn't valued, it was to point out that not all librarians are hidebound, and that many of us are here.

Jul 10, 2008, 10:02am Top

Public librarian, cataloger and techie.

Jul 10, 2008, 10:24am Top

Serials & Electronic Resources Librarian here.

I do cataloging as well as a mountain of other duties, but got my MLIS with the intention of being a cataloger. No, really! Why doesn't anyone believe that... ? lol.

(Also a member of ACAT, where the quote that began this thread was originally posted.)

Jul 10, 2008, 11:58am Top

Librarian here, too. Not a cataloger though. But, definitely interested in the project and in joining the discussion and seeing where things will go.

Jul 10, 2008, 1:33pm Top

I am a librarian who does cataloging work for my digitization projects in Special Collections. I do cataloging mostly in DC, EAD, and MARC. I am more familiar with LC than Dewey, though I have used Dewey in previous libraries.

Jul 10, 2008, 4:34pm Top

Card-carrying librarian, though most of my work experience (pre-LibraryThing) was in archives.

Jul 10, 2008, 6:39pm Top

Librarian, cataloguer and catalogue editor (when time allows), FRBR and classification enthusiast. Admirer of Ranganathan's work for more than 30 years ... so not exactly a fan of DDC or LC.

Jul 11, 2008, 2:44am Top

Student Librarian in Geneva, Switzerland. Had a year of cataloguing and working with the dewey classification in class, at work. I am more familiar though with the CDD classification and the NLM classification.

Most students I train with just hate the Dewey for it's sheer size and all those digits for a simple call number...

Jul 11, 2008, 2:55am Top

Librarian. Cataloguer (went to Library School with avowed intention to become one). Catalogued in public, school and special libraries. And I can fix the sodding computers. Geek.

Jul 11, 2008, 6:51am Top

Librarian, and library tech for over 14 years.

Jul 11, 2008, 9:15am Top

Librarian since 2001...

Currently a cataloger @ a special library...working daily with both LC and (modified) DDC...my library also utilizes SuDoc, so just call me a classification system dilettante ;-)

Jul 11, 2008, 11:54am Top

I'm a Librarian and Cataloging Supervisor. Used to use LOC call numbers in an acamedic library and now am in the Dewey world in a public setting...

Jul 11, 2008, 12:02pm Top

I'm Chief Scientist at Endeca, which is working with a number of libraries on next-generation OPACs. My team also works with library scientists to better understand how to improve the process of information seeking. More at my blog: http://thenoisychannel.blogspot.com/

Jul 11, 2008, 12:31pm Top

I have an MS, L&IS but work on the web as an information architect. I haven't been around LibraryThing since the very beginning, but came across this OSC project via a Peter Morville post and thought it sounded interesting.

Don't know that I have much to contribute to the discussion, but thought I'd chime in as someone who has some training, isn't a librarian, but has an interest in the concept.

Also, I'll note, that in school, I found DC and LOC to be alternately completely nuts and also sometimes kind of great.

I spend my days dealing with "experts" and "users" tagging things, mostly video.

Jul 11, 2008, 12:31pm Top

Librarian, but not a cataloguer.

Jul 11, 2008, 2:48pm Top

IT Librarian from Allen County Public Library.

Jul 11, 2008, 2:52pm Top

Oops sorry, that was me writing as acpl.

I'm the Technology Librarian for Allen County Public Library. Professional librarian since 1989, mostly public service. Only did a tiny bit of copy cataloging eons ago.

Love tagging and folksonomy.

Jul 11, 2008, 4:11pm Top

Librarian-in-training, as I mentioned in the other thread. At least, I will be in training come September. Currently interning in an academic library where I expect to be exploring a little bit of everything, including cataloguing.

Jul 11, 2008, 4:24pm Top

I consider myself a librarian (even though I no longer work at one since the powers that be closed the local library) and a BORN cataloger. I am also a subscriber to AUTOCAT where I followed the discussion quoted with great interest. I think some catalogers have a knee-jerk reaction to radical changes to a working system. However, I am also Wiccan, have close to 1000 titles in my personal library, and DDC DOES NOT WORK with my collection of books on my religion. There are serious short-comings with DDC that have not been addressed and most likely will not be. I am eager to see if a better way can be developed.

Jul 11, 2008, 9:56pm Top

Ha. I'm not surprised DDC doesn't work for your Wicca books.

Jul 12, 2008, 12:07am Top

Peter Moreville, librarian and one of the top usability/user-experience gurus (he wrote Ambient Findability) wrote me with support, and blogged it today:


Edited: Jul 12, 2008, 9:55am Top

Librarian here. I've worked with DDC and LC and I've worked in both reference and cataloging. I also did some SuDoc cataloging while I was in library school.

I've actually devised a not-perfect, but workable, system for my own collection of books in my home. I love creating classification and organization systems! :D

Jul 13, 2008, 2:18pm Top

(Hand raised)

Degreed librarian but not a cataloger. I'm a systems admin and web developer.

Jul 13, 2008, 3:18pm Top

I looked at this long list of "raised hands" and the table showing the DDC Editorial Policy Committee (http://www.oclc.org/DEWEY/about/epc/) and I'm wondering, what are we trying to prove here? I think we know enough about the intricacies of classification systems to understand where "experts" are legitimately needed and where bottom-up input from "well-intentioned users" is an important part of a healthy and relevant classification scheme.

I have an MLIS and have focused on information organization in my studies and professional practice but I know that creating and maintaining any form of information organization is complex. I know that I would need some measure of intellectual discipline to appreciate the problems in classification that some experts have already explored in the DDC. Take for example this article (http://www.ebsi.umontreal.ca/isko2008/documents/abstracts/green.pdf) by Rebecca Green, a DDC expert, and we realize that shelf-order is only a slice of what classifications are used for.

So, I suggest we make differentiations and evaluations based on what purposes we want to use the OSC for. As Tim has already expressed in other threads, I understand the OSC to be humbly and primarily for shelf-ordering purposes and the type of library it will most likely serve are public libraries or libraries with smaller collections that will not require a level of granularity and relationships between subjects to support highly scientific research.

Jul 15, 2008, 9:46am Top

Librarian. Clearly. Of the reference persuasion, specifically.

Jul 15, 2008, 10:05am Top

Yes, I am a librarian. I have never worked full-time as a cataloger, but have experience with DDC, LC, SuDoc, Cutter, and various home-grown systems.

Jul 15, 2008, 6:31pm Top

I am a librarian. MLS!

Electronic reference service, local history, and collection development for a mid-sized public library!

And Yes, we have LibraryThing for Libraries!

Jul 16, 2008, 4:20pm Top

I'm a librarian's daughter. Is that close enough? :)

Jul 24, 2008, 12:55am Top

"I guess the major failing here is that this is the collaboration of experts, who actually know what they're doing, rather than well-intentioned "users" who don't?"

I am a library sciences student and have been a programmer and heavy user of libraries all my adult life. From what I've seen, I don't really think librarians "know what they're doing" when it comes to creating a modern, user friendly classification system. Many of them are too hung up on traditions and nuances that computers have made irrelevant, to accomplish something like this.

And of course, the worst failing "there" (at OCLC), is that whatever all of those "expert" librarians are doing is about as proprietary as possible, protected under multiple layers of copyrights, trademarks and patents, and licensed at high prices. For libraries in the developing world, having a free, libre classification system would finally let them keep up with advances in classification, without having to sacrifice a significant part of their book purchasing budgets to subscribe to the DDC.

Jul 24, 2008, 1:05am Top

Well put Ramalho. Kick-ass :)

Jul 24, 2008, 12:47pm Top

Another librarian here! I've catalogued with Library of Congress, Dewey, and UDC (library hell), and I also know Bliss, Cutter and a few local schemes. My own books are arranged by a modification of the Cambridge University Library scheme, which would not be unfamiliar to Brunet or even Leibnitz.

The number of public libraries using "reader interest schemes" shows that there's a real need for a simple shelf arrangement scheme: not the massive detail of LC (fine if you have a couple of million titles) or the long numbers of Dewey. And scheme building is fun!

Jul 25, 2008, 6:03am Top

Librarian. Not a cataloger, but I'm responsible for integrating 17 public library catalogs in the Netherlands (all using the same Dutch system for classification) in one single system. The Dutch system (SISO) is a proprietary system originally based on Dewey. It's literary warrant, so has more 'room' for subjects that are likely to be found in abundance in public libraries.

Edited: Jul 25, 2008, 1:53pm Top

Woah, ramalho... Being a library sciences student, I assume you'll eventually have to lump yourself into your own generalization, and become one of those librarians who don't know what they're doing when it comes to creating a modern, user friendly classification system. LOL

But actually, I think you're right, as long as I'm allowed to twist your words a little: The vast majority of librarians neither have the ability nor the interest in creating any classification system, let alone a modern, user friendly one. But that's ok. That's like saying that most programmers aren't going to be going out and creating their own languages. They don't need to nor do we want them to.

Being a card (or rather MLIS) carrying librarian for coming on a whole decade now (whew, time flies), I'm slowing becoming aware of how naive and biased I was. When I became a librarian, I thought everyone did it for the same reasons I did: the fame (yeah right), the fortune (excuse me?) and the opportunity to facilitate access to information, actively (e.g. reference services and information literacy) and passively (e.g. subject guide creation and original cataloguing). In library school, I seriously considered developing my own classification system from scratch, but was bogged down by the amount of work and the apparent lack of need for something new.

I'm not a cataloguer professionally (for a variety of reasons) but I am one at heart. Over the years I've reconsidered working on the classification system (based loosely on object oriented programming) and something collaborative and open source would be really great.

(Yeah! Message 69! LOL)

Jul 26, 2008, 8:55pm Top

I'm far from a librarian - though I do have a PhD - but in nursing. As a child I always wanted to be a librarian, and played librarian, but think that really, it was about taking out little cards, stamping dates on them, and keeping track of where my books were!

I would be very happy to assist with this project in any way I can...I was really excited when I first read about it, but must admit that current discussion is quite overwhelming to me. In fact, it makes me run to Douglas Adams and remind myself that "The answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything" is 42 The Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy.

In other words, keep it simple (at least for me!).

If there's anything I can do when some of these really lofty decisions are made, please let me know. I'm more than willing.

Jul 28, 2008, 4:34pm Top

Librarian and cataloger, I've used some homegrown systems and the Dewey. I prefer the Dewey because I grew up with it and really don't have a lot of trouble with it. I just tend to keep all entries as simple as possible. That's what I would say about any new system: simplicity, please. Good luck, I'm looking foward to keeping up with this courageous group.

Edited: Jul 31, 2008, 1:26pm Top

I'm also a librarian with a lot of cataloguing experience (though not currently a cataloguer - except, of course, of my LT catalog). I have just now noticed this group. I think this is an EXCELLENT idea and I would be very happy to participate in this project.

My cataloguing experience has been in Dewey, LC, Nat. Library of Medicine classif., and Universal Decimal Classification (at a special geological library). I have been an admirer of the Bliss Classification as well. Some of my thoughts about cataloging are in the Cutter Classification Reloaded group threads.

I havent had time to read more than a few of the comments yet but i will. I agree with what folks have said about making it as patron-accessible as possible. I think the open-source is the way to go.

A collection needs to have different ways of accessing it to accomodate varying searching styles among the patrons. Some patrons dont want to deal with classification at all, but for some it is a help for browsing. And of the 2 systems -- LC and Dewey -- i believe more patrons would be more comfortable with Dewey, based on my personal observation of patron behaviour.

I have always rather disliked LC, and i think public libraries (the Chicago library system for one) that have switched to LC made a BAD decision. If they thought patrons had a hard time with Dewey just wait til they have to deal with LC's mixed notation. Of course this is just my oh so humble opinion. Dewey at least has simple all-numerical notation (if at times too long) and it has the advantage of mnemonics. That attracted me to it even before I ever thought about being a librarian.

DDC's big disadvantages are the fact that it is proprietary, and the really big mega-disadvantage is its colossal lack of balance in certain cultural areas, especially in the 200s Religion and the 400s language (and by extension the 800s literature). I have put together my own rough in-process revision in both those areas which I would be glad to share with anyone who might be curious. I realise that that is not the same thing as what this group is about since we are talking about having a system with no greedy proprietary fingers clutching it.

I also wonder if I could get in copyright trouble for even displaying my ideas about DDC revision on the web.

For a system to be really useful to the intended users who dont want to have to be classification nerds (such as myself am) just to use what is supposed a user-friendly system, the more "nerdly work" needs to be done at the start -- i.e., to make a strong well-thought out conceptual basis on which the system may grow.

I am thinking in particular that in laying the groundwork for a new system, the principles of faceted classification should be used as much as possible. When done right, a faceted classification can be pretty simple in structure and content and yet the facets can be put together in many more helpful ways than would be possible if trying to enumerate all possible topics. The DDC is more user-friendly precisely because it at least pioneered to a little extent faceting. That's what has made it possible for there to be mnenomics.

Anyway, my day job beckons, so let me just i'd be happy to be part of this effort.

Malik of nautilus_library

Edited: Aug 7, 2008, 9:05am Top

HI everyone, I'm a professional cataloguer who currently works with a local scheme which intends to roughly group everything about the same topic together, divided by size to maximise shelf space. This often leads to problems in finding books (especially if people aren't familiar with the layout) and the age old problem that a cataloguer's judgement call of what a book is 'about' is often different to a user (or sometimes even another cataloguer!)
I think to maximise a classification scheme's use, the notation should have some sort of intrinsic value for users - I'm not sure how much Dewey numbers alone really tell the user about the book's subject.
This is a really interesting project.

Aug 7, 2008, 10:45am Top

I'm not a librarian and only catalogue books as a hobby. However I get paid to (amongst other things) catalogue museum objects and as part of that I have experience of classification systems such as the AAT, SHIC and ICONCLASS. At work we tend to feel it's time to move on to the next object when we've classified something as a "book" or a "pamphlet".

Aug 10, 2008, 3:36pm Top

Librarian, but not a cataloger. I'm a system librarian.

Aug 11, 2008, 11:18am Top

I'm a librarian, not a cataloger, but I'm excited to see if we can replace Dewey with something that makes more sense to our users.

Aug 11, 2008, 3:22pm Top

I am a librarian, in the past I have cataloged and worked as a marc database developer.

Aug 11, 2008, 4:27pm Top

I am a librarian. Though not a cataloger, I have some experience with metadata standards (MODS, Dublin Core . . .)

Aug 11, 2008, 10:12pm Top

I'm a librarian - my first three years were spent as a book cataloger (in LC and Dewey) and the seven (almost eight) since then have been as an archivist. I can tell you that as the lone cataloger for a mainly Civil War Collection in those early years, I came to loath Dewey with a Primal Purple Passion. But my mom was a media specialist and it worked just fine for her library. As with all things, it's about having the right tool for the right job.

That said, I'm very glad that I no longer have to deal with either LC or Dewey. :-)

I'll pop around from time to time out of pure curiosity - good luck.

Aug 14, 2008, 4:06am Top

Librarian, Cataloguer, Acquisitions & Serials Librarian.

Nov 11, 2008, 5:16pm Top

I'm a librarian in a theological library that uses Dewey - I do acquisitions and access services, so I use Dewey to find things but not to catalog. I used to work as a paraprofessional in an academic library that uses LC.

Jan 20, 2009, 9:12pm Top

Retired librarian who has worked in academic, special, school and public libraries. I did a bit of cataloging in my first job (1970-72) but not since. My major focus was on public service and if a good, easily understood classification system is not one of the corner stones of good public service it should be.

Jan 20, 2009, 9:31pm Top

I'm not a librarian, but I do copy and some original cataloging for an academic library.

Jan 20, 2009, 9:34pm Top

I'm not a librarian, but I used to own a specialty bookstore.

Jan 21, 2009, 9:42am Top

I'm a librarian, I did very well in cataloguing at uni, but haven't had to do much in my work. Mostly I get employed as a library technician anyway, because I work in high schools and i'm not a teacher.

Jan 21, 2009, 11:28am Top

I am a librarian and a cataloguer and I have had to create various subject lists/classifications at my place of work over the years. Lists for classifying new books and/or databases, a thesaurus for indexing the output of my employer -- a very major government organization -- and a theme list for organizing it. So, I am very interested in this topic. My overall critique is that this list does not differentiate between subject and format, and it lacks anything suitable for geography/reference tools, and it has a very public library type of feel to it (which may be OK for the user group but my experience is mostly in a research library).

Jan 22, 2009, 9:09pm Top

>86 dewasus1:, yes, this has a public library feel to it because it is explicitly designed for public libraries with open stacks. We do distinguish format, but we have decided to make it an optional pre-subject classification level. Our early discussions examine this issue in detail. We agreed to finalize the issue after we see how the subjects are playing out. We expect to give format large local autonomy options. I believe we have a place for geography. Reference is more likely to be an access issue rather than a subject.

Jan 22, 2009, 9:44pm Top

Librarian, cataloguer, academic library (so mostly LC) though I have a little experience with Dewey.

Jan 23, 2009, 10:49am Top

Yes, and happy to be one.

Jan 23, 2009, 11:10am Top

Feral librarian - no MLS, MA in English instead. But I wound up here anyway.

Jan 23, 2009, 12:07pm Top

Feral librarian (#90)

I like that term. I might adopt that for myself, since everything I know about library science I learned by ossmosis: my mother's a librarian, and I spent some time in my local public library during an extended period of unemployment.

Jan 28, 2009, 1:10pm Top

Librarian, mostly ILL, but some cataloging. Mostly in Medicine & Biotech fields.

Jan 31, 2009, 6:43pm Top

Librarian & cataloger here... formerly a serials cataloger in an LCC library, now everything-but-mostly-monos in a DDC library.

Feb 1, 2009, 6:58am Top

I'll borrow the Feral librarian tag - while cataloguing is my job and my passion and I'm talented at it, I don't have an MILS (though I have studied LS).

Currently I've just started writing cataloguing-in-publication records for the National Library of Australia after a 3 month stint in legal deposit (upgrading pre-pub records to full records_. I'm an LCC virgin, but good with DDC & LCSH.

Hell yes, I am proud of my job.

Feb 27, 2009, 8:28pm Top

Since I've found myself being more active on these forums this week, I'll go ahead and raise my hand. I am a reference slash YA librarian in a branch of a very large metropolitan system.

Not that that really means I'm more of an authority on this stuff than anybody else out there.

Feb 28, 2009, 10:47pm Top

I need to add a comment: Around this house "raise your hand if..." is nothing more than a pretext to tickle. As in "raise your hand if you don't want to be tickled." Therefore, librarians, prepare to be tickled.

Mar 19, 2009, 5:26am Top

Special Librarian. Serials and Acquisitions, cataloguer, systems librarian, public librarian.

Mar 19, 2009, 6:20am Top

I work at a library, not in cataloguing though, in preservation... But I guess that still makes me somewhat of a librarian ;)

Mar 20, 2009, 10:43am Top

Please check out this thread (http://www.librarything.com/topic/60594) for a link to the new OSC blog and a call for specific volunteer involvement. Thanks!

Jun 10, 2010, 7:42pm Top

I'm in need of cataloguing advice. My document is an as-yet unpublished manuscript. The topic is German Village Life, 1500-1850. It covers all aspects of village life, including family life, work life, village governance, peasant status, and the background topics of the major wars and religious events of this time period. After a lot of thought, I'm comfortable that would be catalogued in the DD 901's using LC. But it is a book on village life and customs in general, not tied to any specific village or German region. What should I do for the secondary numbers?
(If you're an experienced cataloguer, I apologise for my appalling ignorance!)

Edited: Jun 11, 2010, 12:21am Top

DD901 is used only for the history of a *particular* village, town, etc. Since this is about village life in all of Germany, it looks like DD65 is the most likely bet if it's a general description of life in Germany at the time.

Depending on the book, it might go in HN445, historical social conditions in Germany {no way of getting it more specific than that}, if the emphasis is on describing how society worked, or if the work was written for or by a sociologist rather than a historian


GT3471 for describing manners and customs of rural life (GT3471.G4 would be the default for Germany), but I think this would be more for modern rural life or if the work included modern rural life.

Aug 21, 2010, 4:02pm Top

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Aug 21, 2010, 4:08pm Top

Where does it say that is designed for public libraries? I read that it was planned to replace Dewey -- not the same.

Aug 21, 2010, 8:58pm Top

If you mean Tim's "Open Shelves Classification" project, IIRC, it was planned/hoped to replace Dewey, as a new type of shelving system for public libraries (they are the ones that generally use Dewey).


But it's a moot point anyway. The project seems to have died on the vine.


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