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Choosing a BISAC Category

Librarians who LibraryThing

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Jan 1, 2012, 12:40pm Top

The BISAC sytem is a stinking way to categorize the nature of a book. How do you categorize a Non-Fiction Humorous Korean War Memoir that includes a Love story. It is witty humor mixed with war codebreaker drama, not blood and guts, not hahha humor.
So choosing between 'History' where the book is grouped(and competing against especially for awards)with heavy duty fact historical event description or 'Humor' where the book is grouped with(and award competing with)more Erma Bombeck stuff. Don't want to lose readers by being in wrong section.
As a librarian how would you categorize a behind the senes Korean War drama,no blood and guts, mild witty humor with a compassionate story of war effects on a population with an unlikely love story mixed in.

Jan 1, 2012, 12:44pm Top

That's a problem with any categorization system. You can only put a book in one place on the shelves. On the other hand you can put it under as many categories as makes sense in your catalog.

Jan 1, 2012, 1:05pm Top

Remember that BISAC was designed for bookstores where you presumably have multiple copies of the book and you can put them in different places. That's why I think it's a terrible system for libraries. However, here's what I'd do if I wanted it one place in the BISAC system:

What is the general intent of the book:

Is it mostly about the person's life?: MEMOIRS
Is it how the person's life interacted with historical events?: HISTORY
Is it mostly a book of funny stories which incidentally tell you something about the author's life and the Korean War?: HUMOR

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