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Feb 23, 2009, 11:40am Top

Here is an example of a few subcategories I think might work for PETS:




Cats > General

Cats > Breeds

Dogs > General

Dogs > Breeds

Dogs >Training


Fish & Aquariums

Horses > General

Horses > Riding


Reptiles, Amphibians & Terrariums

Rodents (Mice, Hamsters, Guinea Pigs, etc.)


Edited: Feb 23, 2009, 12:55pm Top

How come Cats don't get a "training" category? ;)

Or Horses, for that matter - horses can definitely be trained and it isn't just about riding.

Where does one put books about Monkeys as pets? Not that I have (or want) one, but some people do. And they can be trained.

Why not have a second level for types of pets (dogs, cats, monkeys, rodents, fish, etc.) and a third level for things you do with (or to) pets (food, grooming, training, breeding, equipment, etc.) that can be applied to all different types of pets.

Feb 23, 2009, 12:37pm Top

Come to that, I think you need to specify that this category is for companion animals, not animals you keep to provide food (meat, milk) or fibre (wool) or work (oxen, horses) which would all go in Agriculture. Horses, IMHO, belong in Agriculture.

Feb 23, 2009, 1:02pm Top

Do see your point, but that would lead to having to interpret why people keep certain animals. Horses can be kept for companionship, and dogs have been known to serve as food.

Edited: Feb 23, 2009, 2:35pm Top

I don't think interpreting why people keep certain animals is all that onerous.

People will eat almost anything, but there isn't a lot of literature (especially aimed at the public library audience) on dogs as livestock. In fact, I just did a search on an agricultural database and couldn't find any. Dogs as livestock protectors/herders ought to go in Agriculture and there's lots of material on that. Rabbits as meat animals, versus rabbits as pets is easier example.

That's why I think we need to specify in the scope notes that pets includes "companion animals" and have a category in Agriculture for the same animal as food or whatever.

Feb 23, 2009, 1:28pm Top


Well rabbits are probably a better standard for those animals kept as pets which are also commonly eaten. Fortunately the books which deal with rabbit farming are quite distinct from those that deal with the keeping of rabbits as pets (or as show animals).

Feb 23, 2009, 2:17pm Top

How about and "other" category for pet monkeys, dolphins, etc?

Feb 23, 2009, 2:32pm Top

I think an "other" category is reasonable for the very obscure pets, as long as it is clear that if there is a more appropriate category, that should be used (e.g. Chinchillas should go in with the rest of the rodents).

Also, you probably need a category for Ferrets, which are not rodents but are quite popular pets and I think there are probably too many books on them to make it reasonable to put them in the "other" category.

So now I want to write a book on keeping unicorns as pets...

Feb 23, 2009, 2:39pm Top

Is it pink and invisible? Then it should go under religion.

Feb 23, 2009, 2:48pm Top

Yay, "Practical Demonkeeping" - http://www.librarything.com/work/6467653 ...

In fact, I remember a local bookshop once had a book on cannibalism under cookery ;-)

Feb 23, 2009, 3:07pm Top

Yes, that's where my friend Gary's book "Human Cuisine" goes :)

Feb 23, 2009, 3:55pm Top

Horses Riding. Hmmm, I think that should go under some type of sports catagory. Unless we want to get sticky and separate competative riding from pleasure riding, and I don't think that is valid since we don't question it in other areas of sports.

Feb 23, 2009, 7:12pm Top

If you are going to break dogs and cats down by breeds, then you need to do so for the other animals too.

There are many types/breeds of birds, horses, fish, and even rodents that are kept as pets.

Feb 23, 2009, 7:25pm Top

If you're going to put Horses Riding into sports, then I'd suggest calling it Equestrianism, as it would more closely apply to the term they use for the Olympics.

Also, there is another classification that involve aquariums and terrariums called the vivarium. Technically, both aquariums and terrariums are types of vivariums, but some people keep the term of vivarium to use for a mixed species environment (eg keeping fish while providing land for lizards and such. If added, I think it should fit in with the reptiles, amphibians, and terrariums group. That being said, the colloquially termed vivarium isn't a huge part of the industry unless a lot has changed in the last few years.

Feb 23, 2009, 10:07pm Top

So is a general book about cat genetics and proper breeding strategies and showing properly filled under Science (Genetics), Sports and Recreation, or Cats - Breeds?

Feb 24, 2009, 1:13am Top

15> or Hobbies. Breeding cats for fun and profit.

Feb 24, 2009, 3:17am Top

>15 kd9: : Or agriculture? - breeding for profit would make livestock...

Edited: Feb 24, 2009, 9:55am Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

Feb 24, 2009, 10:06am Top

I admit I was being sort of a "devil's advocate" there - and that I was being a bit flippant.

But there is tension if you label breeding of animals for profit "agriculture" in one case (say cattle), but "hobby" for doing the same with other species (say cats), and then again "science" for yet others (say endangered species like Tiger).

Also, by the way, where does the general veterinary stuff go?

Feb 24, 2009, 10:46am Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

Edited: Feb 24, 2009, 12:39pm Top

Well, I don't want to be too bound to what LC classification does (although it's what I'm used to and so ingrained in my brain that I sometimes have trouble looking past it), but it puts veterinary medicine in S with Agriculture. All the animal culture stuff, including vet med is in SF.

I suppose if we really wanted to break from traditional schemes we could have a "living things" top level category, broken down into classification for Human (broken down into anatomy, physiology, development, diseases and pests, medicine, care and feeding, psychology, behaviour, mental health, etc.) and Animal (most of same categories) and Plant (most of same categories) rather than trying to use the traditional categories.

That would get rid of the whole dichotomy between the pet books in one place and books about the same animal as livestock somewhere else. Might also help with some of the fuzzy areas between self help, medicine and health/fitness).

Feb 24, 2009, 12:57pm Top


I suppose if we really wanted to break from traditional schemes we could have a "living things" top level category, broken down into classification for Human (broken down into anatomy, physiology, development, diseases and pests, medicine, care and feeding, psychology, behaviour, mental health, etc.) and Animal (most of same categories) and Plant (most of same categories) rather than trying to use the traditional categories.

If you're going to do that -- which makes a great deal of sense -- you should probably split up Science while you're at it, rather than have some divide between "Living Things" and Science > Biology.

Feb 24, 2009, 1:44pm Top

Sure - the "non-living science" category (I realize that's not quite right, but haven't thought of a better yet) top level - astronomy, geology, oceanography, climatology, mathematics, etc.

Also the "stuff people do (or did)" level - history, art, architecture, law, politics/government, biography/memoir, crafts/hobbies, antiques, etc.

I'm sure there are many arguments and ambiguities here, too (gardening for example - in "living things - plants" or "stuff people do"? and is engineering/technology better in "non-living science" or "stuff people do"?), and at this point getting any concensus on a major change to the top levels seems remote.

I'm kind of liking it, though.

Feb 24, 2009, 2:20pm Top

Well a bit of biology falls under non-living things. For example prions are not usually considered living yet are studied as part of biology. Biology also encompasses stuff like structural biology (which tends to look at things such as proteins and nucleic acids rather than creatures as a whole) and multi-disciplinary stuff like bio-informatics and biophysics.

Feb 24, 2009, 3:04pm Top


Fair enough.

Feb 24, 2009, 6:08pm Top

24> odd - I guess at work we only deal with prions in relation to prion diseases (I work in a library with an agriculture specialty and a huge interest in all things mad cow), so to me prions fit fine into the living things category. Maybe the "studied as part of biology" is the key. Are they studied separately to the effect they have on biological organisms?

I'm thinking the "non-living" science category might need renaming - or else we might have to split chemistry and biochemistry (or would we? I am too far from 1st year chemistry to recall the details...).

Feb 24, 2009, 6:11pm Top

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Feb 24, 2009, 6:12pm Top

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Feb 24, 2009, 6:13pm Top

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Feb 24, 2009, 7:10pm Top

>14 kawika:

The term "vivarium" is also used to refer to facilities where research animals are housed. All of the research vivaria I have seen have been single-species facilities for mammals, but I suppose other species could be used in this context.

Mar 2, 2009, 1:03pm Top

I'm not sure about Essays as a subclass of pets, it is a form (like anthologies, dictionaries etc.) and should be part of an hierarchy of form descriptors. And yes I'm English and don't altogether approve of pre-coordianated LC subject headings!

Mar 8, 2009, 10:36pm Top

I would also consider a category of insects and other invertebrates. Go into any reasonably large pet store and you will see tarantulas, scorpions, land hermit crabs, millipedes, etc., for sale. There are typically several books on their care also. Just my $0.02.

Mar 8, 2009, 10:47pm Top

It seems like there will always potentially be some overlap. By one scheme, horses could fall under pets, agriculture, or sports, depending on the nature/subject/intent of the book. The other way of doing it would be to have the object "horses" be the higher category (under an even higher category of hoofed animals, under mammals, under vertebrates, under animals, etc.) and have subheadings of how horses are used under that. I personally like the first method, but I think you could make a valid argument for either.

Mar 20, 2009, 10:47am 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!


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