Your library in Dewey
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Read the blog post: http://blog.librarything.com/main/2017/07/your-library-in-dewey/
Try it out with your own: https://www.librarything.com/profile/MEMBERNAME/stats/ddc (if you’re signed in, “MEMBERNAME” will work to get you there)
Here's what it looks like:
Also, try posting your page to Facebook and Twitter—it will look nice, will a full-sized graphic. (It might take a moment to look nice.)
1. What do you think?
2. What problems do you see?
3. What do you think about the Facebook and Twitter posting?
4. We should deal with the problem of bad work-level DDC numbers. I suspect you'll find some. I regenerated our calculated DDCs across the system, but there are definitely problems. I need to decide how members can fix them. Options include just having a Common Knowledge field for the top-level DDC, or having a voting system.
I'm rather surprised that many of my books are even counted as having DDC information. I looked, because I was curious, but it's not really information that I (normally) care about.
I'm not sure about your having a voting system, since it seems as though it's (not always, anyway) not helpful. I'm still waiting on cover voting to matter (and I care a LOT more about that, than about Dewey stuffs).
It's clever, though.
The only surprise I came across was in the Arts & Recreation section, where I was a bit shocked to discover that I had 152 books in the "Drawing, Decoration, Design" section. Then I looked at it and saw that all of my comic collections, graphic novels, manga, and books on comic history are lumped in that category. I suppose that's the way Dewey is supposed to work, but it seems odd to have so many works of fiction in an otherwise nonfiction category.
I'd like to see a range or standard deviation marked somewhere, maybe just on the popup tip. So instead of 79X saying Others: 27.7%, Others usually, 2.0%-30.0%, avg. 27.7%.
We're pretty close on religion (you've got me by two percentages) but I blow your numbers away with occult! Actually, I'm surprised I've got so little coming up as ancient and medieval; I imagine most of it is lumped into occult.
Interesting to see that most of my books fall within expected categories although a few individual books sort of surprised me.
As for Facebook and Twitter posting, I couldn't care less. LT is my only social media site.
I'm recataloging my library at present. I'm part done. But it has my occult at 57% https://www.librarything.com/profile/thomasldintypig/stats/mds — still not touching yours.
My biggest surprise was that most of my History of Science or History of Mathematics books are classified under Science or Mathematics, not History.
Tim directed me here from a Twitter conversation and it looks like you've just beaten me out on Occult as well. Sad times.
No wait, happy times. Now I have to buy more books and reclaim the percentage trophy!
I'm surprised it doesn't break literature down into fiction, poetry, drama, criticism, etc. But maybe that's just my ignorance of the Dewey system..
I love it! I love Dewey and statistics and bar graphs!
>1 timspalding: Re Q. 4: You've probably thought of this already, but there are some books where I think we'd all agree the current assigned call number is wrong, but we'd disagree on where it should be. >10 jjwilson61: is a prime example; I would put History of Science/Math in the 500s, but apparently he wouldn't. My thought process is this: I'm a historian. History goes in the 900s, History of Math goes with the rest of the math. Because even though it's a history, it's really about math. I suspect a mathematician might want his History of Math in the 900s because the 500s are for actual math, and History of Math isn't math, it's history.
(While in library school, I worked on a project involving epistemology/gnoseology, taxonomy, controlled/uncontrolled vocabulary, and crowd-sourced cataloging. Sadly it never really went anywhere. I still love the subject, though.)
ETA: I'd love it if the graphs went to the XXX.X level, but I suspect down that path lies madness...
Hi! I am a retired librarian and had cataloged my own library long before the internet and LibraryThing. Thanks so much for this feature. I am not surprised by my peaks or valleys. Great tool and a lit of fun.
Public libraries rarely use Dewey for fiction, actually. It's for everything else.
ETA: I'd love it if the graphs went to the XXX.X level, but I suspect down that path lies madness...
Yeah. Go look at it in your catalog. Otherwise, madness.
Good. What I would have expected, but the reference to "bad work-level" data made me worry. (I assumed, perhaps wrongly, that anyone who is interested enough to use this feature would have checked their data, and have book-level data available.)
Very cool! I don't have time to play with it properly right now but will spend some time with it later today.
I guess I shouldn't be surprised by how overwhelmingly my "literature" class outstrips all others in my library, but I kind of am, anyway. 64.3%!
History of math is in math because that's where Dewey thought it should go. The whole point of classification is that it's consistent. You're free to file your own history of math books in history, but then you aren't using DDC.
"History" in DDC seems to be a very old-fashioned use of the word (which is completely understandable given the age of the classification), referring only to histories of geographic regions. History of math or technology or even of a social group doesn't go in 9xx. (Black history and queer history and so forth are in 305, for instance.)
So, I think the answer should be a CK field, and then we just DEAL. If someone says they want their copy in 123 not 321, great, they can do that to THEIR copy.
I guess I shouldn't be surprised by how overwhelmingly my "literature" class outstrips all others in my library, but I kind of am, anyway. 64.3%!
That's above the average (mean). I also calculated the median--the middle number. It's higher—68%.
In other words, most people have mostly-fiction libraries. But the people who have non-fiction books in abundance have more books. If mean is charted against library size, it goes steadily up. This makes intuitive sense to me.
Here's the raw data from 0-9.
Black history and queer history and so forth are in 305, for instance
Oh, Dewey is a mess in so many ways. There's been an effort to change all the horrible labels, but the classification itself is semi-fixed. Until the heat death of universe we're going to be using a system that gives Christianity about 90 top-level classes, and puts Buddhism to the right of the decimal point.
The one I find very revealing—Unitarianism (500k?) gets the same amount of space as Catholicism (1.6b). But in 1870 central Massachusetts this made perfect sense. It made demographic sense in that context. And Dewey was a notorious bigot--such a bad bigot, against Jews, and skirt chaser than the ALA sanctioned him BACK THEN.
>11 Vecna: I thought my late husband's library would beat mine (ibonewits) but he's only at 77%. I separated our books a couple of years ago, so now I wonder what it would be if they were combined again. But his library has more books than mine, so although he might beat me on raw numbers, I've got the percentage.
I just now noticed that you say we're being compared to other libraries of (similar) size, which presumably normalizes out that "larger libraries are more non-fiction" effect. Cool! (I'm at 56.1% 8xx myself, but the grey bar says 51.6% for similar-sized libraries.)
Ugh. Now I forgot about that too!
Here's 8XX (literature) by size.
Well, here's one that just wrong, https://www.librarything.com/work/5110874. It's classified under Religion/Bible but it's a collection of texts from all over the ancient Middle East, many of which have nothing to do with the Bible, or even religion.
I do not have any knowledge about Dewey, but i see that my Dutch Books are listed in American language and in German language in 8XX (literature), and none of them in 'otherlanguages'.
>27 jjwilson61: That book only has 4 copies listing in in the 930s, while the rest have it as a 220 or 221. So it looks like work level is putting it in 221.93 .
>28 EMS_24: Probably this has to do with translations of the same work providing the Dewey data. Another argument for 1) UDC (& Bliss) and, more importantly, 2) an editions layer. ;-)
>30 davidgn: But Tim said it grabs book level first, then work level should there be nothing on the book level. This suggests needing to check the DDC listed on your personal book.
>31 gilroy: Thanks for that detail. It adds complexity, but the analysis still works out the same in this case. Dutch libraries mostly use UDC, not DDC, if I'm not mistaken. So DDC info is going to be missing at the book level (unless it was catalogued by some -- presumably foreign -- library that does use DDC, and that library was used as the Add Books data source).
ETA: I guess I am mistaken. http://www.udcc.org/index.php/site/page?view=users_worldwide
The Dutch have their own homebrew system. https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/SISO
(And their own BISAC equivalent too, apparently: http://www.nbdbiblion.nl/product/pim )
DDC classifications are based on the original language of the work; a book by an American author writing in English will remain in 813 even if it is translated into another language.
>27 jjwilson61: Honestly, I don't have a problem with that. The original work was called Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament.
>16 timspalding: Yeah. Go look at it in your catalog. Otherwise, madness.
Hey, in 11 years I've never once asked for a pony. This is my pony. :)
Thanks >30 davidgn: , >33 lorax:
The 'German' listed books have all:
DDC/MDS Literature > German > Literature in other Germanic languages > Literature in Dutch or Flemish > Dutch literature > Fiction >
And the few 'American' listed:
DDC/MDS 813 Literature > American And Canadian > Fiction >
and the non-listed: DDC/MDS Not set/calculated
>34 _Zoe_: The original work was called Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament.
It's not called that anymore and I believe the contents have changed. In any case I've moved my copy (and volume 2) to 935.
>28 EMS_24: None of them should be in Other languages; literatures in Germanic languages besides English and German are found under 839.
Someone please explain why https://www.librarything.com/work/12154777/workdetails/19754424 - Basil the Great Mouse Detective is coded 268.81 Christian Organisation, Social Work, Worship - Christian Education.
Well, now, that's strange. Encyclopedia of Fairies and Mirrorshades are both classed in Social Sciences. I can't decide which choice is funnier. If I knew how to move them out, I'd still probably not bother. I love funny, it's my favorite thing. :-}
Because it was wrong in the source you used to enter it. It happens.
>40 abbottthomas: Yeah, that's just wrong. http://classify.oclc.org/classify2/ClassifyDemo?search-standnum-txt=%09078882659...
>42 lorax: Looks like they used amazon.co.uk , actually. So unclear where the data came from. Add it again from British Library using the ISBN (0590705954 ) and it should be fixed. (Insofar as their opinion of 823/.914 is suitable to you).
I also note that Galileo's Daughter is under Astronomy. Now I'm thinking there are going to be lots of things I'd want to change. It's an interesting book, albeit one-sided (we have his letters, but not hers). Astronomy? Not really.
Yeah. I've got some too. I'll post about them soon. We're trying to see if the MARC is somehow coded differently for those.
Why on earth would you expect the results of a book classification system to be anything other than complete nonsense for something that is not a book? That's like asking what language an apple speaks.
>48 lorax: Actually... http://classify.oclc.org/classify2/ClassifyDemo?wi=155955078
That's what 791.43xx is for.
>48 lorax: I wasn't expecting it; I was just sharing some odd results that I found amusing.
>47 amanda4242: I have movies in my other account and quite a few of them had some odd and entertaining autogenerated call numbers. I ended up reassigning them to the call number for film and television (it's somewhere in the 700s under recreation and entertainment, I don't remember where). I briefly toyed with the idea of putting them in the 800s, as they are works of fiction, but it skewed my data too much.
Is 005.2/76 the same as 005.276? Because the catalog code with MDS turned on seems to be treating it as just 005.2.
For languages with long words, like German and Swedish, the fixed positions of the staples make the category names close to unreadable in several places on the localised site.
Okay, so what ought we to do with all this data? I ask in the generic sense, not because it's important to me. I often clean things up, when I recognize that the data provided is "ratty" (it's a compulsion, and I'm talking about my own books, for the most part).
Should I correct my copies, where the data is clearly wrong? Should I start asking where things *ought* to go, or where things should be assigned? Is it helpful to others for me to correct data on a copy, or does it not matter to the general population?
I note that I have books with DDC numbers that seem odd to me, since they're (in some cases) 200 or 300 years old, but I recognize that it doesn't prevent them from being classified. I'm more interested in such things as the collection of science fiction short stories, Mirrorshades, being incorrectly classified (as an example) than in the strangeness of DDC entries in general (poor Barry Stevens is off in the Occult).
It does make me want to enter more books, though, just to skew the data a bit (in my own library).
ETA: I find it interesting that 12-13% of my library has no DDC entry at all. :=}
I have a fair number of manuscripts cataloged in ibonewits but none show up in the Manuscripts category. I'm not surprised, since they're all manual entries. Is there a way to fix that?
>38 jjwilson61: Of course you're welcome to classify it however you like, but when Pritchard begins his preface with the statement that "The aim of this volume is to make available in convenient form those ancient Near Eastern documents which are important for an understanding of biblical peoples and their writings", it seems a bit much to declare that the bible classification is "just wrong".
Anyway, perhaps more significantly, the 221.9 classification is actually printed inside the 2011 edition. Presumably the publisher's classification holds at least a bit of weight here?
Pretty neat, I like it! I actually have something very similar in my books spreadsheet (which I will stay faithful to regardless of how much I love LT) with library of congress categories. I'm always excited to cross a new one off the list.
Bathe in it!
I'll be rolling out a few more things like this soon. Frankly, I find it fun in the way that the tag mirror is fun, or something that tells me what time I tend to post on Twitter, etc.
This is fascinating and I think I'm going to be spending quite a while playing with it.
But I did notice one thing: it's including books from my wishlist collection. Is there a way to exclude that so we can get a look at the stats for only the books we actually have? That would seem much preferable to me.
I just stopped by to ask the same - can some collections be excluded (in my case Read but unowned)?
If you're on the "Board for Extreme Thing Advances"--a private group for beta-testing new features--check out https://www.librarything.com/topic/265793
If you want in, PM me.
Shows you how skewed Dewey is to Christianity. Everything else is dumped into "Other Religions".
Yup. It made sense in 1876 Northampton, MA, maybe. I mean, the goal of a system like Dewey might be misunderstood as an attempt to map realit, but really it's trying provide as much accuracy as possible, with the shortest numbers possible. This means mapping the system to the books you have.
In his time it fit. Now it doesn't. Still, it has its strengths.
When I first joined LibraryThing, over ten years ago, I was already in the throes of reorganizing the books in my house according to Dewey. They had been shelved by order of acquisition. Being overly obsessive-compulsive, I included forty columns of information about each book, including its dimensions and weight, and four different cataloging types. My wife, being a librarian, owned a Dewey classification manual, which used more than she did.
To the point: We had over 2,400 books. Other sheets included the dimensions and number of of shelves of every bookshelf in the house, and a quantification of the number and linear footage (width) of the Dewey numbers, grouped by tens and by the hundreds. Another sheet told me which book went on which shelf and its neighboring books. In the end, it took less than two hours to completely rearrange all the books in my house according the Dewey (Melvin, really).
And whereas I was impressed with seeing the numbers, I never thought to graph them.
>66 lorannen: The actual staples. Isn't that the term? The staples whose height tells how many books we have for that call number? There are ten of them for every category and they are equidistant, which makes the descriptions for the call numbers overlap so they can't be read, if the descriptions contain long words.
>55 Lyndatrue: ETA: I find it interesting that 12-13% of my library has no DDC entry at all. :=}
How'd you find this number? I kinda want to dig for the same. :)
>69 anglemark: I've always just heard them called "bars." Staples are metal fasteners that hold paper together. Or a chain store of office supplies.
>71 waitingtoderail: Ah, of course. I'm being fooled by the Swedish word for 'bar' here. Thanks!
Question as I start poking through the various books I have:
How are things like Fic or E being parsed for the sake of these lists? If there is a Dewey number to replace them, should we?
Should we comment on or try to correct errors? I've got one listed as "OXX - Information - Library Information" that is clearly wrong:
Going to the book page and expanding "Show All" Under "Work Details" lists 2 correct categories but the main one is wrong.
>70 gilroy: You're going to be disappointed to hear the answer. It's a math thing. I know how many books I have (LT told me). I added up all the books in each of the categories (Literature has 434, for example), and then subtracted the one from the other, and then divided the lesser number by the greater. Voila! Guesstimate.
I should note that I took the number of all the books in my collection, including things like "read but not owned," since we're talking DDC which will be there whether I own them or not.
Here's the thing, though. I've seen an SF book classified as religion, and any number of similar foolishness. Now that I have that top row of classifications, I'm just going to make up my own numbers when I see something nonsensical. I've already learned that if you just remove the number, the system knows there should be one, and you get the fearsome green crap instead. I don't want it to be green, so I will just go in and put a book in its proper main category (everyone can now breathe a sigh of relief).
I've done this already with a book, where the classification was so terribly far off. I just go look at a similar book that *isn't* wrong, and use that number. Piece of cake. I may get around to doing this with all my books, sooner or later. Probably later; I'm busy with other things right now.
Even though I know how important data visualization is, and to never underestimate the power of a good visualization, I'm still always amazed when something like this rolls out at how many people seem to have not only never looked at the data before, but never even knew it was there.
So, some generalities:
* Any bad data is not the fault of LT, should not be blamed on LT, and should not result in LT being mocked here. It is the result of bad data either in your import source, if black data is present, or in aggregate if green data is present.
* Many public libraries do not use Dewey for fiction. If your fiction/literature number is unexpectedly low, check (by including DDC/MDS as a column, and sorting on it) whether you have something like "FIC" appearing.
* This data is editable at the book-level. If you have bad data, fix it, don't complain. The only situation in which it's an error is if the count of the graph does not match the actual data in your library.
* To that end, please consider looking up a title in something like OCLC Classify, rather than "making up" a number when you edit. DDC data bubbles up to the work level, and careless entry can affect others.
* Similarly, please understand that there's no "fuzzy" Dewey - if you enter 500, it will be understood as being exactly 500, rather than "somewhere in Science" (represented in the graph by "5xx").
>77 lorax: Thank you for the OCLC Classify link. I have only changed one book so far, and that will be enormously helpful for when I get serious about this, later in the year. I certainly always knew that the Dewey entries were there, but (until now) I just ignored them.
I care about page numbers, but I care because it helps to identify which edition something is. I care about covers because they're as much a part of the history of books as they are an identification of the work itself. I've lost count of the number of covers I've scanned in that I'm sure look pretty much the same as any other red book (but they're NOT the same to me).
Numbers in general are pretty interesting, even when the focus is skewed (by having all the other religions clustered off in a tiny bucket, for example).
Thanks again for the info; I promise I'll be careful.
This is fun. I had The emperors new mind classified as 530.1, Theoretical Physics, but I didn't remember it primarily being a physics book. So I looked it up on that OCLC Classify page that someone posted and it turns out that the majority of the time it's classified as 006.3, Artificial Intelligence, but also sometimes as 153.4, Judgement and Reason. I agree with the majority in this case and changed it to 006.3.
>77 lorax: Thanks for the OCLC Classify link. Every time I think I'm mostly done with my books, I find another marvelous LT time sink. :-D
Thanks - used OCLCClassify and public libraray catalog to correct mine
I've already solved one of those puzzling errors (and thank you, lorax, again for the OCLC Classify link). There was random garbage data in the Dewey column (an item I've always ignored, before today, but will watch with interest from now on).
I'd pulled Implied Spaces (by Walter Jon Williams) from the Seattle Public Library, and it had "SCI-FIC WILLIAM 2008" where 813.6 should have been, and is now.
I'm through with the 1XX and 2XX categories, and I'll probably do 7XX later on. I will also examine every book I add from now on, making sure that they're proper.
My library shows I have half English and half Italian books but I don't have any Italian books, so not sure what that means. Also, I have hundreds of books about Africa and the same for South America but it shows only a tiny percentage for each. So really confusing so far.
I think perhaps you're looking at someone else's data. Here's your data https://www.librarything.com/profile/SusanTahiti/stats/library
I'm redoing the work-level data right now, mostly so that it can go in a new table that has a place for a canonical answer. But I'll see if I can't twist it slightly toward better data. We're currently letting the data bubble up from the book level, but that ignores that the book-level data is of varying quality, and we have lots of library records we're not using.
Just wanted to say this is a cool feature! Definitely accurately displays my nonfiction interests--low on the math/science, high on the history/literature.
>81 bethuneco: Shoot us an email at email@example.com with some more details (i.e. a link to where we can see your post), and we'll be happy to take look and help you from there.
As an ex library assistant, I shelve in Dewey sequence, so the graph of my books has a pretty good correlation with the size and shape of my bookshelves (an entire bedroom devoted to the 9XXs).
I have a manual entry for every book, and source my numbers by a mixture of reference to http://classify.oclc.org/classify2/ , a second hand copy of Dewey decimal classification and relative index and guesswork.
I occasionally modify the numbers, where I want to keep certain books together, but I note the conventional classification in the comments field.
This probably doesn't help the accuracy of the calculated work-level number.
Please can we have the data displayed as pie charts too.
>25 gilroy: Ha! My literature is 14.9%, and I still haven't catalogued half of my travel or my IT yet.
And I took a literature degree...
If anybody really wants to get deep into assigning call numbers, the Dewey Decimal Classification and Relative Index Edition 20 (1989) is available free on archive.org. Only three editions behind, so probably not too horribly out of date. It's in the OCLC collection, so I figure they know it's there and don't mind.
I like that Bringing Up Baby Dragons is under "Customs, Etiquette, Folklore" :)))
I would very much appreciate a collections selector settings as per the "Physical properties" stats subsection. Of course, I'd actually like this for every stats subsection.
I love the Dewey feature! Just spent the better part of two hours enjoying it -- thanks so much!! I always thought my 900s were about equal to my 800s ... such a surprise to discover I have way more lit than I thought. Then I looked around a bit more & clicked on physical properties ... learned my book stack is higher than Big Ben. Wow! Very cool.
The best thing about the blog post on this is the phrase "library cartel."
I knew this guy who messed with the library cartel once. He woke up one morning with his first edition of Gutenberg's Bible ripped to shreds in his bed.
And now I can visually see why Dewey has never made any sense to me whatsoever. To me browsing in a library has always been akin to shopping in a supermarket or department store where it's impossible to find that one thing that you're looking for that you know they have. (I tried to buy vinegar once in the supermarket last year and was searching for over an hour until I resorted to methodically eliminating every shelf in every aisle. By that point I was expecting to find it with baby wipes, and indeed, I eventually found it in the last aisle next to vegetables. Apparently "un-cold bottled wet things" is not a category?)
I'm still in the process of adding and fixing the standard Dewey numbers in my catalog, but in my mind my non-fiction is categorized into Science/Science, Science/Math, Science/Language, and Not-Science. This is a definite spur to go back to working on the developing a useful system for the custom call number field.
>96 macsbrains: My goodness, you have far more patience than I. When I can't find something, I ask an employee!
>97 PhaedraB: I have considered drawing a map in case I ever go back. I was since informed that for people who cook it makes sense for the vinegar to be there because of salads. But since boiling water in the microwave counts as cooking to me, I didn't even know there were things on the other side of the vegetable aisle at all. I just needed the vinegar to mix with baking soda for a mild sink clog. I had slightly better luck finding the baking soda (though it was not with other sacks of white powdery substances) but I kept expecting to find the vinegar with either Drano or the tomato sauces. Yes, supermarkets are basic knowledge for most people, but I am a product of 2 generations of "eat out of the can and don't even bother to heat it up."
I'm currently trying to place my mythologies, which apparently go under the 200s, except for one that's in the 300s because folklore is in the 300s. And I have no idea what to do with The Lands of Ice and Fire which I want to put with maps and atlases, but Dewey wants me to put with fiction because it must matter if it's a map of a real place or not. I also need to look into why graphic novels are shelved under arts and recreation instead of fiction, because this causes my actual artbooks to be placed with them, whereas in my house they're not even near each other. Other people have such strange logic! :-)
1.I think it's terrible.
2.There are two main problems with this feature : the concept and the execution.
a- as others have already noted, there are lots of goofy classifications around (my favorite : the Devil's Dictionary in Language/English. Its gut dickshunary in it!), which make my stats (and presumably others') a joke. With a lot of work this might conceivably be improved to an extent.
b- as others have already noted, ultimately the Dewey classification is terrible, impractical and outdated. It's a rigid, hierarchical classification where a given work could fall in hald a dozen arbitrary places and yet not really fit in any of them. It might have been a necessary evil in the time of quills and typewriters but trying to drag it into the digital age is like insisting tank men wear spurs.
Librarything has a fine classification systems in tags; it's flexible, it's usable, it can deal with books having more than one subject, it does not have weird parochialisms like languages classified into "English/Frog/two or three other European languages with no noteworthy author/Others". There are some bad tags floating around bust mostly the good ones crowd them out. It's a thousand times better than Dewey. That, if anything, is what should be developed; although as I said it's fine as it stands.
4.You should not do anything. Fixing individual numbers is a false, superficial solution that will do nothing to address the real problem. Maybe rollback the feature if practical, otherwise just let it stand in perpetual beta.
Oh, dear. I broke it. Well, someone did, in any case.
The reported error was:
Problem with the concurrent query manager in the LibraryThing Bureau of Garbage Collections.
We have an entire room of trained monkeys working to solve the problem..
Please fix the new toy. I don't have any spare monkeys, or I'd offer some extras up.
Okay, should be good.
You'll find the work-level DDCs updated. The new data is better. The old would see some oddities like "123.12.99" and read it as 123.99. The new uses the right cleaning techniques on it.
>98 macsbrains: And I have no idea what to do with The Lands of Ice and Fire which I want to put with maps and atlases, but Dewey wants me to put with fiction because it must matter if it's a map of a real place or not.
Dewey put my You are here : personal geographies and other maps of the imagination in 912 with the other books on maps. The OCLC Classify page shows that at least some libraries are putting "The Lands of Ice and Fire" there as well, so I wouldn't have any qualms changing the number on the book record to that.
I kept expecting to find the vinegar with either Drano or the tomato sauces.
Stores very rarely mix food and non-food items. The one exception I've seen frequently is baking soda, where small containers are with food (in the baking section, near flour and sugar) and large ones are with cleaning supplies, since it serves both purposes. I'd look for vinegar near things like salad dressings and other sauces, but not with canned vegetables. (Tomato sauce goes next to canned tomatoes and other canned veggies in most stores; sauces with tomato as an ingredient that are not tomato sauce, like ketchup and barbecue sauce, are elsewhere.) But if you were thinking "I need this to clean my drain!" I can see why you'd look by the drain cleaner.
Oh, for Pete's sake.
LT has had Dewey classifications available since forever. This is a visualization, nothing more, and problems with either misclassification of individual books or with the DDC classification in general are not the fault of LT.
>99 Kuiperdolin: Always at least one negative wet blanket in every crowd...
Often, when new things like this show up on LT, I note them, but (mostly) ignore them. This one has really appealed to me, because it helps to remove the ratty data that otherwise percolates up, and in books that are more rare, can really have a strong effect.
I do have a question, though. I've gone through all the categories except literature (which is where the majority of my books are), and I know that there are many of my books that are not categorized at all. Should I go through them, and see whether the OCLC tool recognizes them, and has an opinion? I don't mind doing it, here and there, as I come upon them, but wonder if it's useful, or even wanted?
Here's an example (although this one probably doesn't matter that much, since there's only two entries for it here on LT):
There is, indeed, an entry for it.
I think I'll add it, because it affects, at most, one other person than myself. I love that little book; it's fun, and still informative.
ETA: One of the most gratifying things about this is that a change, or a new entry, shows up immediately in the system.
>107 Lyndatrue: Looks like there is one to combine, but I'm not sure how close it is to the same book, so I'm leaving it alone. :)
>108 gilroy: I really love the workbench. Needless to say, I combined them. All the same book. I love that book.
ETA: I looked in the library of the one I'd just combined, and it was added after I'd added mine. All fixed, now. :-}
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>105 lorax: : "LT has had Dewey classifications available since forever."
So what? The new change brings it to the homepage and timspalding specifically asks what we think of it. It's like putting Drano on my breakfast, asking me how I like it, and when I answer not very much, saying : "But it's been under the sink forever and you never complained!".
"problems with either misclassification of individual books or with the DDC classification in general are not the fault of LT."
Of course they are, if Librarything endorses them.
>106 gilroy: : well there's always a majority of happy-go-cucky enablers claiming that everything is fine, and if it weren't, it would be a matter of taste. That's not useful feedback. This feature is objectively bad.
>110 Kuiperdolin: if Librarything endorses them.
I fail to see how this is an endorsement. It's using existing data to do something other than gather dust. It's buried under the profile, not out front where everyone can see. So NOT on the home page
If you choose to hate the DDC, that's fine. Ignore the feature, delete that data point from each of your individual books.
Some of us find it interesting historical research of library cataloging and nothing more.
>110 Kuiperdolin: happy-go-cucky enablers
Wow, that's an incredibly offensive and inappropriately political term for an otherwise innocuous discussion about book classification. Like dropping a nuclear bomb on a Justin Bieber concert.
That particular choice of words tells everyone exactly how much worth Kuiperdolin's comments have, I think, as though equating a new data visualization with murder didn't do the same.
>114 timspalding: Somehow, I feel fortunate to avoid that song. Heard a snippet and didn't see the draw...
Bieber adds nothing whatsoever to it. I suppose he was roped into making a minor contribution to get it into the conscientiousness of the average American teenager. It worked. The original is catchy, though.
>117 timspalding: As long as you're here, and paying attention, I'll ask this again:
...I know that there are many of my books that are not categorized at all. Should I go through them, and see whether the OCLC tool recognizes them, and has an opinion? I don't mind doing it, here and there, as I come upon them, but wonder if it's useful, or even wanted?
Is there any way to see how other books for the same work on LT have for their Dewey number? It would be more convenient than copying the title and pasting to the OCLC Classify page.
Sometimes I think I'm in an alternate pop culture universe. I heard it once.
But back to the topic, while taking a stab at finding codes for my really obscure no-code books. I found this reference:
Many of my titles have LCCs, but not DDCs. Anyone have a suggestion of how to ballpark the latter from the former?
>119 jjwilson61: Many of my books have a green text number, which is what bubbles up from the other books. However, I have found different numbers for them in the OCLC tool, or the same number with more/different stuff after the decimal point.
This looks promising, but I haven't tested it myself:
>119 jjwilson61: I go to the work and look at the work detail. If it has more than one DDC listed, it offers a section to expand and see where it is listed. Then I check my own book to see if it is part of the group or blank.
>119 jjwilson61: Short answer, no matter how you do it, it's a bit of a pain. It's def a project for the more compulsive of us. A long, tedious project that is ultimately only of use to me? Sign me up!
>124 PhaedraB: A long, tedious project that is ultimately only of use to me? Sign me up!
>122 lorax: Looks like that link uses WebDewey, which is a paid service. The forms on the linked page are all screen shots. I didn't find a way to find the forms themselves to try. Maybe you'll have better luck.
Yes, it would be interesting to see where that number comes from, and if it was the only choice or a result of a 49/51 split.
In the Dewey section of the Work Details, click on "Show All". It's slow to populate, so may not be up-to-date for recent-ish books, but it's better than nothing.
I LOVE this! I love it! I love it! I love it!
As a cataloging librarian, this tells me volumes about my own books with just a cursory glance.
This is great!
Thank you so much!
Dewey does do that breakdown, but at levels with more numbers after the decimal point.
>118 Lyndatrue: Sorry we missed your Q earlier. It's entirely up to you. It certainly wouldn't hurt—and would actively help the feature, in that the more data we have, the more accurate the average percentages are in the calculation for the All LT part of the graph. So, you're not just helping your own chart's accuracy, but everyone else's, too. If you feel so inclined, please go ahead! But it's certainly not required.
I've never been a Dewey fan, myself—I cut my teeth on LoC, and it was somewhat habit-forming. However, I'm going to update my own books over the next few weeks, for exactly the reasons I've outlined above!
>132 lorannen: Happy day, then! Even though there are things that are kind of dumb about it (such as the antiquated opinions about all religions other than christianity being relegated to their tiny little corner), it's still appealing to me. Pity I didn't find LT before I got rid of most of my books. Extra data is almost always useful.
I'm still going through my "Literature" books, but then I'll start on the end of my library, and work forward in time.
So here is another data point that I have ignored, but now that I can see it in a graph, I feel compelled to clean it up.
Started with hiking guides, as I have quite a few, and most are unclassified. The OCLC site puts them under biography & history in 917, along with histories of polar exploration, but that does not seem right.
Some of my books on climbing are in 796.5 outdoor leisure. That seems a better fit for hiking, but Dewey really shows its age in 796. Horse related sports, shooting sports, and winter sports all have specific categories, apparently leaving 796.5 to cover everything from suntanning to BASE jumping and wind surfing.
My Sasquatch (bigfoot) books are in 001.944. I thought knowledge was an odd category, but 001.9 is controversial knowledge, and 001.944 is monsters & related phenomena, including cryptozoology. =)
I like the new feature. It's cool seeing how my books stack up.
Request: Would there be a way of parsing out "My Books," "Wishlist," and "Read But Unowned," especially for Physical Properties. Since I have a sizable Wishlist, this throws off the metrics of my Library stats. But Physical Properties would probably be the only place where this parsing would be necessary. I'm curious to know what others think.
>19 lorannen: Me, too! I read such a wide range (including nonfiction!), but my "literature" still came up at 65.5%! I guess that wide range also includes a wide range of fictional genres!
Either way, I love stats, so this is fun to check out (even if some of the Dewey numbers might be questionable!).
Maybe, but there are reported to be quite a few in the Dark Divide area of Washington, between Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Adams. That is the area where D.B. Cooper probably landed, when he parachuted out of the plane he had hijacked. He is in 364.15 with various criminals.
>111 gilroy: : "I fail to see how this is an endorsement."
And yet it is.
"It's buried under the profile, not out front where everyone can see. So NOT on the home page, unless one choses and it's not a module so will never be out there on the home page. And it can be ignored by those who so choose."
"If you choose to hate the DDC, that's fine. Ignore the feature, delete that data point from each of your individual books."
That would still not make it a good feature. It's similar to the blokes who answer critical reviews of a book with "Well you don't have to read it." Everybody knows they don't have to read that dumb book, it does not make it a good one. (not to mention the irony that people who don't like my critical feedback don't have to read either).
"Some of us find it interesting historical research of library cataloging and nothing more."
Good for you, that still does not make it a good feature.
>141 Kuiperdolin: #ProTip: make your browser window smaller and you'll lose the News column.
>141 Kuiperdolin: people who don't like my critical feedback
Going back through your responses, I've seen criticism of Dewey. And how it should be destroyed. Yet to see decent critical feedback on how to make the feature better. (Outside of get rid of it.)
Also, your screen shot is only showing the home page with the blog posts, which will disappear as more stuff is posted to the blog. NOT the module.
It occurs to me that some of the people excited about this feature might also be interested in a challenge group devoted to reading through all the Dewey categories.
>147 jjwilson61: While I might support the possibility, here's something that makes my *own* head hurt. On many statistics available in Stats/Memes, you can look at the reverse, or at least at those things that aren't included. I've gone through all my books that are marked with Dewey numbers, and realized that there is simply no easy way for me to guess which of my books has no Dewey entry.
Short of editing each and every book that I've added to LT (which is probably what I'll end up doing in any case), I see no easy way to make a collection of books that ought to, and do not, have numbers that put them in those little Dewey buckets.
I'm happy to entertain any suggestions that would help. Please note that ANY book with an ISBN has a Dewey number (just in case someone was considering that as a suggestion). Lots of my books predate the ISBN era. I even own books that are older than I am (and I don't have an ISBN either).
Either that or to kill the Dewey group entirely by bringing in someone so hostile.
Add Dewey as a column to your library. Sort on it, and books with no Dewey will come to the top. (I mentioned this way upthread, but it was a while ago.) You have 74 books without one.
>149 Lyndatrue: If you're looking for which of your books have absolutely no Dewey entry, not even a green "calculated data" one, then you can easily find those by going to Your Books, adding Dewey/Melvil as one of the display columns, and then sorting by the Dewey/Melvil column. The blanks will sort to the bottom or the top, depending on whether you want it sorted 000-900 or the reverse.
If you're looking for any Dewey data you did not personally hand-enter, you can do the same thing with the Dewey/Melvil column and look for the green text. There's no easy way I know of to look for the green text otherwise.
You can edit the Dewey/Melvil column right in Your Books by double-clicking on the cell, so at least you don't have to go all the way into Edit Book each time.
ETA: Lorax beat me to it! And I'm a fast typist! :)
>150 lorax: Well, we'll see. I do think there's a difference between ranting at Tim about a particular feature in a site forum, versus just pointlessly trolling powerless users in a reading group. Not that I have any personal experience of the former.
Oh, I think there is too, but I think insulting everyone who likes this feature or finds Dewey useful crosses that line and is "pointlessly trolling powerless users", especially given the nature of the insult. (Send me a private message if you want to know.)
>151 lorax: and >152 casvelyn: There probably *was* this information, upthread, before I was honestly able to use it. Now that I'm fascinated with the concept, I'll make use of this. I've looked at the green text entries, and (at least in my library) they're usually correct, although sometimes they're more general, and I edit them to match what the OCLC tool suggests instead.
Thank you both very much for the suggestion. Now I can add in all the little outliers. :-}
I've been sorting my library and going through every entry. It'll keep me out of trouble for a few months. Why? For fun. One more thing that no one other than me will ever care about, probably, but I like that it's done.
>155 Lyndatrue: You're welcome! The biggest flaw I've noticed in my library (of mostly fiction) is that with the green text, British authors are often labeled as American literature and American authors are often labeled as British literature. But I like the fiddly work, so I don't mind fixing them.
awesome! (and by the way, the fact that MEMBERNAME is automagically converted in one's name is awesome too)
I'm just now looking at the books in my Catalog via the suggestion about viewing it with DDC as a column. I note that, in some cases, there's a slash inserted within the number. This seems wrong to me, and I expect I'll remove it (after checking with the OCLC tool to verify the number), but it's in quite a few (none in green text that I've seen, though).
In addition, what's the full name for the LC Classification (it's a column next to the DCC), and can I use the entries provided by the OCLC tool to make them all correct?
>162 Lyndatrue: The slashes denote abridged numbers. I've been editing mine out. Apparently OCLC deprecated them in 2005. (See https://www.oclc.org/content/dam/oclc/dewey/discussion/papers/segmentation_marks...)
LC is Library of Congress Classification. I've never catalogued using it, but the entries on Classify that I've looked at have seemed correct. LC is more common in academic libraries.
The Library of Congress has more details, but they charge for complete access to the schedules.
This discussion reminds me that many features would be more discoverable if there were a bit more variety in the default catalogue display options.
Is Dewey really not in any of the defaults? That's surprising, and disappointing.
I agree with that 100%. The defaults should show as much as possible of the full range of available columns - put author and title in all of them, but other than that, mix it up!
>163 casvelyn: The Dewey Section at the Library of Congress stopped using multiple slash marks in 2005. They still use one slash mark to designate the end of the abridged DDC number. If you want to use the abridged DDC number, delete the slash mark and all of the numbers to the right of it. If you want to use the unabridged DDC number, just delete the slash mark.
>167 GracePointeChurch: Thanks, I misread the announcement when I was looking it up. I use the full numbers, personally (up to a point; I hate call numbers with a zillion digits after the decimal), so I just get rid of the slashes.
Okay, new question: How would the DDC field handle cutters in terms of the information bubbling up to the work level? I use custom call numbers for shelving, so all my Dewey work is just for fun, but if I was using Dewey, I would be using cutters as well. So I could have a call number that looked something like 929.2 G847s 1977 and the only part of that that is relevant to other users would be the 929.2.
>166 lorax: I don't remember perfectly what's in all the defaults, but I know there's not a lot of variation between them, and there's definitely no attempt to show off the full potential of the catalogue view.
I checked my catalog in incognito mode to find out.
A: Cover picture, title, author, date, tags, rating, entry date.
B: Cover picture, title, tags, review, comments. (Not an error: there really is no author for this one.)
C: Title, author, publication, LC classification, comments.
D: Author, cover picture, author, title, date, tags, rating, Google Books, swap. (Not an error: author really does appear twice, first-last and last-first.)
E: Title, tags, LC classification, subject, ISBN. (Again, no author.)
Swapping out LC for Dewey in one of the two that include it would fix the immediate problem, but overall the defaults are pretty terrible. Notably, none include Collections, probably because they haven't been touched since before Collections were introduced in 2009. The Google Books column appears to be blank; it's not sortable, but I spot-checked a few pages and it was always empty.
>170 lorax: Thank you for checking that! So much room for improvement there.
And for comparison, here's what I use:
A: Cover picture, title, author, more authors, summary, tags, subjects, series, awards and honors, source, from where, collections
B: Cover picture, title, author, more authors, tags, number of tags, comments, entry date, collections, rating, average rating, media, call number
C: Cover picture, title, author, more authors, tags, LC, Dewey, original language, OPD, rating, collections (This is the one I have as my preferred style).
D: Cover, author, title, tags, ISBN, orginal language, languages, publication date, entry date, lending, collections
E: Title, author, publication, pages, dimensions, source, height, weight, thickness, copies, entry date, collections
>170 lorax: B: Cover picture, title, tags, review, comments. (Not an error: there really is no author for this one.)
That's not necessarily a problem. Since this is your own library the title is probably all that is needed to uniquely identify the book and in the rare occasions where you have two books with the same title the cover will like be enough to disambiguate them.
I did not say it was a problem. I wanted to clarify that that is indeed the full and complete list of fields, so that nobody thinks the lack of author is my omission rather than LT's decision.
I'll be danged. I have been using the tool recommended, and was amazed to see that it only offered the LC classification, and no DDC. None. Zero. Zilch. Nada.
Book in question: http://www.librarything.com/work/19521966/143656296
The LCC is PS648.P6 (subject headings are equally split between United States, Trump, and Politics). Yep, not a mention of SF, which actually makes sense. Any suggestions on the Dewey number here? It's fiction, certainly, although I'd not call it Science Fiction, myself. No DDC is okay with me, but if there's a sensible suggestion, I'll put it in for my copy. There's currently six copies here on LT, and I'm betting there won't be many more, but you never know.
>175 Lyndatrue: I'd guess it should go under 813.6 (21st century American fiction) unless the anthology is 21st century, but the stories are all older.
ETA: Alternatively, 808.83876 is Science fiction anthology by more than one author.
>176 casvelyn: Thank you fvery much or the suggestions. Although the book is very earnest in its efforts, I'd have a hard time labeling it science fiction, and am grateful to use the more generic tag you provided. Now I can give it away, with a clear conscience, and think no more about it.
I'd be more interested in a feature that showed me the Library of Congress stats, since DDS is subjective and I don't use it. It doesn't handle a polyglot's multilingual library very well, since most people and libraries would class my non-English books in the catch-all "foreign language" category, while for me the language would be better as a right-hand number piece of information (which is not how DDS does things at all). Also, many of my books don't have a DDS or *are* rare enough on LT that no one has added one of their own, which may or may not be accurate. But some of those still have an LCC (and most have an ISBN, but that gives no cataloging information). So it's a nifty idea, but is only really suited to mostly monolingual* Anglophone libraries. :(
*Just to be doubly clear, I mean that the library is mostly monolingual, not that Anglophones are mostly monolingual.
>178 Faranae: DDS is subjective and I don't use it
It's a way to categorize books. It is of course subjective, like all such attempts.
most people and libraries would class my non-English books in the catch-all "foreign language" category, while for me the language would be better as a right-hand number piece of information (which is not how DDS does things at all).
I don't understand; the language of the book is simply not an element in DDS. (Original language of fiction is, in both DDS and LCC.) I've got nine books out of 4,000 that have a non-numeric entry in the DDS; you have zero, so any such catch-all foreign language category is not much of a factor. Also, books without LCC are more common in your library than books without DDS; use a format that shows you both and look through them.
Which is not to say you can't feel this desire, but your reasons don't seem to back it up.
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