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Self-Help

Build the Open Shelves Classification

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1laena
Feb 23, 2009, 11:49am Top

Includes works on self-guided improvement (economically, intellectually, or emotionally).

2AnnaClaire
Feb 23, 2009, 4:07pm Top

Wouldn't that mean a lot of overlap between "Career" and/or "Health & Fitness", for example? Or am I missing something?

3abbottthomas
Feb 24, 2009, 5:35am Top

The revised Top Level list is very helpful and has sorted out a lot of uncertainties but I am having difficulty in thinking of a 'Self-help' book that would not fit perfectly well in another top category.

Self-guided improvement -

economically in BUSINESS or ECONOMICS or CAREERS

intellectually in EDUCATION

emotionally in FAMILY & RELATIONSHIPS

Pulling these various disparate themes together under the only commom factor - ME - seems unnecessarily solipsistic. Almost everything involves other people although ......

The Big Book of Masturbation??

4vpfluke
Feb 25, 2009, 10:45pm Top

Self-help is a different way of looking at the world than business, education, health, etc.

I took a look at Wikipedia's Portal/Contents overview, and it shows a different way of looking at the world, or knowledge of the world. Here is the link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_overviews

Self-help comes under People and Self. Maybe a biographical way of looking at the world, rather than an object orientation.

5abbottthomas
Feb 26, 2009, 6:11am Top

>4 vpfluke: Thanks for that link - it certainly focusses the definition more sharply than the line copied in the OP, and cuts down the number of books that might fit. I hadn't thought of the "peer-to-peer support" aspect.

I'm still not entirely convinced that a book like Men are from Mars, women are from Venus which usually seems to show up on Self-help shelves in book shops couldn't perfectly well fit under 'Family and Relationships'. Having read the link, however, I won't try to put Teach Yourself German anywhere but education!

6astherest
Feb 26, 2009, 6:42am Top

I would put Teach Yourself German with Languages and Linguistics.

7abbottthomas
Feb 26, 2009, 6:49am Top

>6 astherest: OK.

I've just looked at the 'Education' scope note and, if I'm interpreting the intent correctly, its for the medium, not the message.

8jjwilson61
Feb 26, 2009, 9:20am Top

You cannot have a classification system that embodies more than one way of looking at the world. Or at least your can't if you want each book to go into only one place.

9mattsya
Mar 10, 2009, 4:27pm Top

This is one of those categories that demonstrates the difference between bookstores and libraries. Self-help is a very popular section at bookstores, and at our library, people often ask for our "self-help" section. But as everyone in this thread has pointed out, most any self-help book would fit in another category as well.

A separate self-help section works great for bookstores as their goal is to sell more books. The self-help sections says "I see you're feeling bad about your weight; you might also be feeling bad about the cleanliness of your home--so try this book, too." Or, "I see you're feeling bad about your relationship with your mother;so you might also be feeling bad about your career, or perhaps your relationship with Jesus. So try these books, too." Bookstores sell books.

Libraries help people find information. Most any "self-help" book fits better somewhere else according to the information it provides.

10conners
Mar 20, 2009, 10:46am 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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