Dewey Alternatives - Brittney Govan 7/21/13 With the...

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Brittney Govan 7/21/13 With the enormous amount of books, movies, documents, and pieces of information in circulation, there has to be system in place that makes it easy for us to organize and locate a single item. The early development of standardized library classification systems has made this possible. With the evolution of technology these classification systems have grown and evolved. Today we have evolved to using many different classification systems but the original few are still the most widely used in library systems. While the use of these original systems are still very prominent, many argue that they are outdated and do not benefit the consumer as much as they do the librarian. Established by Melvil Dewey in 1876, Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC), or the Dewey Decimal System is one of the oldest and most commonly used classification systems today. Since 1988, the DDC has been owned by the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC), and is currently being used in over 200,000 libraries worldwide. These libraries include school and public library systems. DDC is a numerical based way of organizing books. This system is made up of 10 categories ranging from the 000’s category, which is generalities, to the 900’s category, which represent geography and history. These broad categories are what you would the main categories. These main categories are then broken down into more detailed categories that are represented by a three-digit number for identification purposes. To better explain this, if you are looking for a world history book, it would be located in the 900s geography and history main category, specifically under the 909 section. Following the main categories three digit classification, the majority of the time there will been a decimal followed by around to four or five more digits. This is where subjects are further divided, moving from general
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Brittney Govan 7/21/13 content to specific. So for example a book on the Indian Ocean, which is classified as world history will be categorized at 909. 09824. To date the DDC system has around 27,000 category options (Mitchell, 2009). Although the OCLC continues to update the DDC system, as you can easily see, this classification system can be a little confusing to many readers who do not understand the representation behind these numbers. You should no have to study a whole classification system to know how and where to locate a book. This makes some question if the DDC system really necessary? If bookstores can function without Dewey, why cant public and school libraries? This leads to the question of, what are some non-traditional alternatives to DDC that we can use to make the consumer book search easier in public and school libraries? The first suggested DDC alternative is just simply using a subject or keyword
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This note was uploaded on 08/06/2013 for the course INF 384W taught by Professor Dr.haynes during the Summer '13 term at University of Texas at Austin.

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Dewey Alternatives - Brittney Govan 7/21/13 With the...

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