There are two major classification systems used in American libraries to organize books on library shelvesthe Dewey Decimal Classification System and the Library of Congress Classification System. Both systems organize knowledge into subject categories, allowing libraries to shelve similar books together. a)
Dewey Decimal Classification System
The Dewey Decimal Classification System was designed by Melvil Dewey in 1876.
The Dewey Decimal Classification System divides all the world's knowledge into ten broad categories, based on the categories of knowledge of the western world. As a result, the Dewey Decimal Classification System has a western world view built into the very system itself. This western bias has led to problems in the classification of knowledge from non-western cultures.
The first division of the Dewey Decimal Classification System is referred to as the First Summary, or the Ten Main Classes. The First Summary is further broken down into ten narrower subdivisions, referred to as the Second Summary. The Second Summary breaks down further, and so on and so on. Each subdivision classifies knowledge into more specific units. (See the pink handout) b)
Library of Congress
The Library of Congress Classification System was developed by the Library of Congress in Washington, DC in the early 1900's to organize the collections of the Library. The Library of Congress chose to develop its own classification system rather than use the Dewey Decimal Classification System because of the large size of its collectionthe Dewey system was not considered flexible enough to meet the needs of the LC collection. Over the years most U.S. research and academic libraries, as well as some public libraries, have adopted the Library of Congress Classification System.
The Library of Congress Classification System organizes knowledge into twenty-one broad categories. The twenty-one categories (labeled A to Z, but missing I, O, W, X and Y) are further sub-divided by...
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