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CLASSIFICATION

AN INTRODUCTION

DEFINITION

Classification is the meaningful grouping of persons, things, animals, and so forth in a systematic way. Examples in everyday life where systematic groupings are used include: * supermarkets * employees * schools * mails * personal papers

whether by qualifications. duties performed. from the organization of supermarket shelves to scientific classification of species and subspecies to the groupings and ranking of employees in the workplace.A classification scheme organizes subjects systematically and shows their relationships  Our world is classified by an infinite number of schemes. salary and/or status and so on.  .

Library Classification The basic principle of library classification is to group the items on the shelves according to their subjects content.  Works which are used together should be shelved together  Literary warrant – ie the volume of works which have been written.  . on any topic – should be a primary factor in the formation of a classification scheme. or likely to be written. or sometimes literary or bibliographic form.

Purposes of Library Classification  Library classification schemes serve to:     Bring related items together in a helpful sequence Provide formal orderly access to the shelves either through a direct search of the shelves (browsing) or via the catalogue Enable any reshelving of library materials Provide an order for the classified catalogue .

Universal Decimal Classification. some features of DDC.  . also called facet classification.eg Library of Congress. lists numbers for single concepts and allows the classifier to construct (synthesis) numbers for composite subjects – eg Colon Classification.Types of Classification  Enumerative classification attempts to spell out (enumerate) all the single and composite subject concepts required . Dewey Decimal Classification Synthetic classification.

. Hierarchical classification is based on the division of subjects from the most general to the most specific – eg Dewey Decimal Classification. Library of Congress.

Features of a Classifiction Scheme  Library classification scheme generally have the following features:  Schedules  Notation  Index  Number building * Tables .

the more enumerative the scheme. divisions. In general. . the slimmer the schedules. Schedules range from fairly sparse to extremely detailed. etc of the scheme. the more synthetic. enumerated classess.Schedules The schedules are the printed. the more detailed the schedule. number order.

since DDC relies more on number building. In addition.Schedules The Library of Congress Classification schedules are much lengthier than the Dewey Decimal Classification schedules. schedules usually have: * a general class * form classes * form divisions . whereas LCC lists more of its numbers.

the items are grouped not according to subject. That is. general encyclopedias Form classes are used for literature. . etc. – in which they are written. These classes also include literary criticism. drama.Schedules The generalities class is used for very general topics. prose. but according to the literary form – poetry. and comprehensive combination – eg current affairs.

. periodical.Schedules Form divisions are used for works on any subject which are presented in a particular bibliographic form – eg dictionary.

Notation is used to: * indicate a subject * show its relationship to a class * provide a sequential order for arrangement . divisions and subdivision of classes.Notation The notation of a classification scheme is the series of symbols which stand for the classes. subclasses.

H37 1994 . such as numbers – eg Dewey Decimal Classification – 342.Notation Pure notation is the use of only one type of symbol. such as numbers and letters – eg Library of Congress Classification – TK51011.569 Mixed notation is the use of more than one type of symbol.

Notation Good notation should : * convey order clearly and automatically * be as brief and simple as possible * be easy to say. allowing insertion at any point without dislocating the sequence * facilitate the use of mnemonics (memory aids) . write and remember * be flexible.

all synonyms for the term and a breakdown of parts of the subject. . together with the corresponding notation. as far as possible. It should include. It provides verbal access to the schedules.Index The index is the alphabetical list of the terms used in the schedules.

and showing the relation of each topic to all the disciplines in which it is found .with only one entry for each topic mentioned in the schedules * relative – enumerating all topics and synonyms.Index There are two types of index: * specific .

.Number Building This is the ability of the scheme to allow the construction of notation to include items not specifically mentioned in the schedules.

* Some equivalent numbers may be used in preference to others.Classification Policy and the User Classification scheme are often modified by libraries to suit their users’ needs. fiction. . * Location symbols may be used to group materials – eg. reference. Libraries need a local classification policy that may be used in preference to others.. periodicals * Numbers from copy cataloguing records may require adjustments to be a certain length.

some libraries locate their books and journals in separate collections for their users’ benefit. and may shelve the journals alphabetically by title. or use another classification scheme for special collections.Classification Policy and the User * Libraries may create their own local classification based on an existing scheme. . For example.

Classification Policy and the User The library of Congress assists other libraries by providing alternate classification numbers in its cataloguing records for works that can be appropriately classified at another class number. monographs in series and for works classified by the National Library of Medicine. . These are usually for incunabula. subject bibliographies.