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How should the optional facet be used?

Build the Open Shelves Classification

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1aarmstrong78
Aug 17, 2008, 1:31pm Top

In a post from the first level thread by timspalding, facets were generally rejected due to the fact that,

"A shelf system, by contrast, *has* to be singular. A book must be in one place. If shelving is to other than random, you want a system that tries to organize the books in a two-dimensional space. At some level, this is doomed to failure."

According to a later post also by timspalding that can be found in the Top-level categories thread,

"I think it makes sense to bring back the facets, not as a general structural principle, but only for things that some libraries might want to shelf together—but others won't....To repeat, I don't care for facets as an intellectual structure that can be "reduced" to a shelf order—when the whole point of the OSC is to make a shelf order. But there are certain bodies of books that some shelve together and some don't, and binary facets are a good way to think of this situation."

All that being said, I'd like to know what you envision as some of the uses of this optional facet. I can think of a few ways already:

Audience (Children's, Young Adult, etc.)
Format (DVDs, Audio Books, Large Print, Graphic Novels)
Language (Spanish, Braille, Cantonese, Pig Latin)

To give an example of how they would work, I'll quote from a post of mine from the Top-level categories thread:

"If the Austin City Library wants to shelve all the works in Spanish seperate from those in English because that is how they have found thier patrons tend to find things most easily, then they simply put ESPA before the call number on the item and shelve it within the Spanish wing/floor/section of the library by call number, thus allowing the same consistency of browsing within the Spanish section of the library as within the English area of the library.

"If however, the Boston City Library finds that their patrons find things more easily if the English and Spanish editions of the same work are together, they still put ENGL or ESPA in front of the call number but shelve by call number first and then by the language/format indicator.

"This also is consistent as anyone walking into either Austin or Boston could easily browse for and find what they want as the subjects and categories are the same for either one."

What are other ways we could use this optional facet or why do you just hate the use of it for Language or Format if that's the case?

2jmgold
Aug 17, 2008, 2:05pm Top

I think language and format are the main uses. Although it's worth noting that my own definition of format in this instance is very broad (including things like graphic novels, picture books, easy readers, and music scores).

This facet would also be the good way to break out special collections in a given library, although of course we can't expect to standardize that besides maybe a label for local interest.

I'm not sure what to think of the audience facets. I sort of want to make them a separate facet in addition to these to prevent having to triple nearly all the labels we come up with (ie. children's book on cd, ya book on cd, adult book on cd). But then we've gone from cutting out facets totally to adding in 2.

3Quipxotic
Aug 17, 2008, 11:11pm Top

"Audience (Children's, Young Adult, etc.)
Format (DVDs, Audio Books, Large Print, Graphic Novels)
Language (Spanish, Braille, Cantonese, Pig Latin)"

I like it and the idea that special collections could be indentified with it too. In a lot of ways it's what libraries already do, although I hadn't thought about it quite like this before this discussion.

4timspalding
Edited: Aug 17, 2008, 11:24pm Top

Reposting over here

So, what if we structured the call number like this:

(FACETS) (CALL NUMBER)

So, the first letter is audience (A, adult, Y, young adult, C, children's)
The second letter is format (B, book, A, audio, G, graphic-novel, etc.)
Other facets could be for whatever else needs to be called out—language, special collection, etc.

And so you have

AB 123.321 - Lost Moon
AA 123.321 - Lost Moon in an audio format
CA 123.321 - Goodnight Moon

A library that had no childrens' books would ignore the first facet. A library entirely of Braille books would ignore the second.

5aarmstrong78
Edited: Aug 17, 2008, 11:39pm Top

> 2 I'm not sure what to think of the audience facets. I sort of want to make them a separate facet in addition to these to prevent having to triple nearly all the labels we come up with (ie. children's book on cd, ya book on cd, adult book on cd). But then we've gone from cutting out facets totally to adding in 2.

I agree. That is a sticky problem. I see basically three ways you could try to include audience in the facet.

An example to play with: The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss on DVD (the original TV episode, not the Mike Meyers live action movie)

1) We add a second (distinct from the first) facet for audience. CHILD DVD osc-call-number
2) We triple (or more) the amount of single facet labels (instead of just CHILD (C for short) or just DVD, we have CDVD, and YDVD, and ADVD, etc). CDVD osc-call-number
3) We say "You can have all the DVDs together or all the children's items together, but not both." CHILD osc-call-number or DVD osc-call-number

I'm inclined to go with route 2 but I'm open to arguments for any of the other two options and/or for any other way to handle the problem someone really smart and clever can come up with.

6aarmstrong78
Aug 17, 2008, 11:44pm Top

> 4

By the time I had finished typing up and posted message 5, Tim's proposed solution in message 4 had already been posted.

I really like it. It is an elegant solution. Includes all the ways a library might want to use the facet in a standardized way that still has flexibility to drop unused aspects. Very nice indeed!

7jjwilson61
Aug 17, 2008, 11:51pm Top

I'm leery about this whole facets thing. Tim was willing to go along with one and now we have two or more. I'm thinking that what this is might better be called a Collections Identifier and it would be one notation for whatever a library decides to break out into its own collection. So if a library wants to have a YA fiction section we could have a CI for it. Many libraries would have a Children's section. But it isn't anything as formal as an audience and a format, just whatever a library decided was worth making a separate section for.

8JLKausLibrary
Aug 18, 2008, 12:16am Top

>4 timspalding:,5,6 I'm not sure I'm keen on making this "facet" stuff too cryptic. If someone has a call number like CHILD 12-456-12, they can easily figure out to go to the children's section. But CA 12-456-12... yeah, not likely, unless they already knew that CA mean children's books.

I don't think there is too much problem with using option 1 from message 5, CHILD DVD 12-456-12 if its a children's version of a DVD. I mean, do we really think having an extra line taken up by this facet or whatever is too much? What does "CA" over "CHILD DVD" really gain us?

Alternatively, I don't think there is too much trouble with option 3 from message 5 either, where there is only one thing in front of the call number at maximum. With the understanding that that thing might be a fact with a name like "CHILD DVD" :-)

9timspalding
Aug 18, 2008, 1:33am Top

What does "CA" over "CHILD DVD" really gain us?

Someone with book-labeling technology experience should chime in.

10jmgold
Aug 18, 2008, 7:13am Top

>9 timspalding: ok I'll bite. Spine labels are really small (5-6 lines, 10-12 characters per line max.) and childrens items in particular are very thin. So space is at a premium, although if the two facets can still fit into a single line it might be ok.

The one advantage "child dvd" has is clarity. But then again I work at a library where we print "ya" and "large type" on our spine labels and still have to put bright stickers on items from those two collections because no one ever notices the information on the spine labels.

11laena
Aug 18, 2008, 11:08am Top

I am in full support of the above, particularly >5 aarmstrong78:. Succinct, learnable, browsable.

I've added it to the wiki.

12Tricoteuse
Edited: Aug 26, 2008, 12:14pm Top

>7 jjwilson61:

I really like the term "collections identifier" for what we're doing. I think it eliminates some of the potential for confusion with using the term facet (since we're not really building a true faceted classification).

I also really like the letter system and I think if you pick the right letters it could be easy for shelvers/librarians/even patrons to figure out what they mean after using the system for a while.

The one thing that's missing from that is the language identifier, so you'd have to figure out how to fit that in, perhaps with a third letter?

ADS - adult DVD in Spanish
CBF - children's book in French

13fleurdiabolique
Aug 21, 2008, 4:51pm Top

The one thing that's missing from that is the language identifier, so you'd have to figure out how to fit that in, perhaps with a third letter?

It'd have to be more than a single letter, since there are far more than 26 extant languages. Perhaps it would have to be a separate identifier (like you, I think the term "facet" is just confusing people here) from the identifiers regarding format and audience?

Someone is probably going to suggest using numbers to represent languages, but I don't think that that's sufficiently intuitive for our purposes here.

14conners
Aug 28, 2008, 8:52am Top

The original message (number 178) over at top level categories thread that got us back on this topic (and I too like "collection identifier" over the term "facet") was about language and format. Subsequently we began to talk about audience. I think all three are worthwhile identifiers. It seems like audience and format can both be captured with 26 choices, but I agree language would need more than 26 choices. Should we consider separating the three optional identifiers with dashes so it is clear where one begins and another ends?

15TheIronRose
Jul 10, 2009, 8:27am Top

Are your "Audience" categories specific enough? Looking at the Top Levels list, I see some categories that are really on the same subject, where the difference is who they're written for - professionals in that field or the Everyman with a passing interest in the subject. Why not keep them together but add the marker P for Professional? It's not that different to marking reading levels on the spines of children's books, which is common practice at least in Elementary School libraries.

As for languages, I think the obvious solution is a two- or three-letter abbreviation.

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