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Proposed Lower Levels

Build the Open Shelves Classification

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Jan 21, 2009, 5:25am Top

Since some of the lower levels are being added on the wiki, I thought I'd start a thread to comment on that so that we don't overflow on the testing thread.

Jan 21, 2009, 5:34am Top

andyl made a point on the 'Testing thread' that I thought was worth cross-posting:

Also I (not being American) am a little puzzled by the large African American section. To me it seems a wee bit too mired in present day US culture to my mind. Do the majority of people really think "FICTION / African American / Mystery & Detective" and not "FICTION / Mystery & Detective / African American"?

Got to say I agree with his point. Certainly from a UK perspective, I would hate a classification system to inherently favour ethnic background over subject matter. Surely again, following Tim's lead in giving libraries the option to devolve down as far as they need in a system, it is more conceivable that a library would shelve all Mystery and Detective fiction together alphabetically than devolve to ethnic background of author or subject. Having the ethnic origin below the prime subject matter makes more sense, gives libraries more choices and make the system less US-centric. Don't lose the classification if it's relevant but it should be a sub-level below IMO. Having a second level African American class surely has the potential to make this system as politically biased by the political climate at its time of inception as Dewey now seems to us.

Jan 21, 2009, 5:46am Top

>2 klarusu: Another UK opinion - and in broad agreement. There are certainly novels where the African American (or Christian or Gay, for that matter) label may be the most significant, and so all these need a second level presence but I think that these 'buckets' are generally trumped by genre 'buckets'. The Yiddish Policeman's Union is Fiction - Mystery & Detective - Jewish rather than Fiction - Jewish - Mystery & Detective

Jan 21, 2009, 8:32am Top

I tend to agree with both klarusu and abbotthomas.

Jan 21, 2009, 9:39am Top

me too! Genre first, then sub-wassnames. From an Australian perspective, the likelihood of us ever using an african-american heading is infinitesimal, whereas genre headings are very likely.

Jan 21, 2009, 10:29am Top

Waittaminute! We're already doing lower levels? When did this happen? And didn't we only just testing the top levels?

Jan 21, 2009, 11:12am Top

> 6 Look on the wiki - they are creeping in! If the big Science bucket stays undivided on the top level some folk are going to be desperate to get splitting.

Jan 21, 2009, 12:03pm Top

My main concern is that this appears to be undiscussed/underdiscussed. Either that or I entirely missed the discussion(s).

Jan 21, 2009, 12:06pm Top

I thought so too AnnaClaire, that's why I started a separate, fresh thread because until Laena linked to the wiki somewhere else, I didn't even realise that some had started to go up ....

Edited: Jan 21, 2009, 12:09pm Top

So, where (besides the Wiki) are we going to hammer out what the subcats will be? I don't think any of us wants this to disintegrate into an edit war, but that's likely to happen if we don't have anywhere to be civil about it.

Jan 21, 2009, 1:01pm Top

Yep I noticed that laena said that progress was being made on the lower levels which was why I posted.

Basically I think that the approach being taken is a little misguided at the moment. We seem to be taking BISAC and then just arbitrarily chopping bits out and mushing categories together.

Jan 28, 2009, 7:22pm Top

>2 klarusu:
andyl made a point on the 'Testing thread' that I thought was worth cross-posting:

Also I (not being American) am a little puzzled by the large African American section. To me it seems a wee bit too mired in present day US culture to my mind. Do the majority of people really think "FICTION / African American / Mystery & Detective" and not "FICTION / Mystery & Detective / African American"?

Getting back to an earlier topic here, speaking as an American, I find it decidedly UN-intuitive to divide up fiction by whether it's African-American or not. I would put A Free Man of Color in "FICTION / Mystery & Detective" and either stop there or continue to "/ African-American," never the other way around. It just makes no sense to divide it that way. The reader doesn't say "I'd like to read some African-American fiction today, how about a mystery, or maybe a romance." S/he says, "I'd like to read a mystery, or maybe a romance. It'd be nice if it was about African-Americans."

Feb 1, 2009, 5:02am Top

It makes no sense to me this american-african labeling, you do not have a american/norwegian, Swedish, Polish, Irish, Russian label, have you ?
So this is too odd.

I would, on the the other hand, want to know where the plot is taken place:

Q & A by Swarup, Vikas

Fiction44 Scotland Street Smith, Alexander McCall

FictionSaylor, Steven


Feb 1, 2009, 11:46pm Top

Yeah, singling out Afro-American fiction for its own section has never made sense to me. With our history, it seems like giving them their own section is some kind of weird hold over from Jim Crow or something. I say let a book stand on its own merits, whether its written by an African, an Irishman or an Indian.

Feb 2, 2009, 9:20am Top

>12 staffordcastle: & >13 IaaS:

I'm a little confused. would african-american fiction be BY an african-american, or be ABOUT african-americans?

Can a white person legitimately write a novel from a black character's first person perspective? Is this different to authors writing novels from the perspective of the other sex? anybody know any good examples?

fwiw I think that I would put this category a long way down the chain, if I were to have it at all?

Feb 2, 2009, 9:46am Top

15> About.

Classification is about the subject matter of a book.

Feb 2, 2009, 10:20am Top

Unless of course you're classifying Comics or Manga.

Feb 2, 2009, 10:35am Top


I think there's quite a few categories that end up being something other than the subject matter, actually, although the Comics/Manga is certainly the most glaring.

Feb 2, 2009, 12:12pm Top

What on eart do you mean by "manga" ???

Feb 2, 2009, 1:29pm Top

Greetings! David and I have been busy compiling and analyzing all your comments, and a post with new top levels is forthcoming!

In the interim, take a look on Thingology (http://www.librarything.com/thingology) at the summary of the OSC meeting we had in Denver last weekend. This will answer some of your questions, and clear up the fact that we need to be building second levels in conjunction with testing the top levels.

Graphic Novels/Manga are formats, not subjects.

Remember that there will be a library catalog with subject headings (maybe even tags!) to aid in finding this material. All we are doing here is grouping items as best we can on the shelf.

Feb 2, 2009, 1:40pm Top

Thanks Sqdancer 20>
"Manga is, literally, the Japanese word for "comic"; outside of Japan, or in Japan, it usually refers to Japanese comics or a style of art which originated in Japanese comics. This style of art is characterised by a wide variety of techniques, especially large, life-filled eyes and interesting hair-colours and styles. This article shall hereforth use the term "manga" as referring to the manga art-style. "

So why use comics/manga, when manga is the Japanese name for comics and it is a special art-style. It's a lot of art-styles in drawing-series

Feb 2, 2009, 9:06pm Top

The terms "comics," "manga," and "graphic novel" mean different things to different users. It is mostly a matter of user perception.
On a side not, "manga-style art" does not characterize all manga, and some "Ameri-manga" (and other non-Japanese "manga") may employ a similar style. The art of Megatokyo, drawn and now written entirely by Fred Gallagher, is in a modified manga style, is published in the same size as most manga, and often shelved with manga actually from Japan.

Apr 27, 2009, 2:43pm Top

>15 tcarter: In my experience African American fiction is by and usually also about Africa Americans.


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