The term ‘Classification’ is a derivation from the Latin word “Classis” which connotes‘Grouping.’ Classification is a procedure of grouping similar items and objects and is essential in formulating a group known as classifying, which results in Classification. This process helps the user to arrange, organize and make a logical sense of articles which also assists the user in locating them in an easy manner. Classification is the ability to distinguish objects through their similarities and dissimilarities, which is distinct in their identities for human beings.
Classification is one of the oldest and most prominent knowledge organizational tools. It is used in Libraries, Information centers, and other institutions for organizing books, journals, newspapers, theses, magazines, etc. It is a system by which library materials are arranged according to subjects, class numbers, or author of the books. Library Classification system uses a notational system that represents the order of the subject in the library and helps users to find materials on the shelves easily. It brings the same subjects’ books together and separates unrelated subjects.
Library classification – the systematic arrangement of books and other materials on shelves or of catalogue and index entries in the manner which is most useful to those who read or who seek a definite piece of information in a library.
Definitions of Library Classification:
According to Berwick Sayers, library classification is “the arrangement of books onshelves or descriptions of them, in themanner which is most useful to those who read.”
Library Classification is meant to be “the translation of the name of the subject of a book into a preferred artificial language of ordinal numbers, and the individualization of the several books dealing with the same specific subject by means of further set of ordinal numbers which represent some features of the book other than their thought content.” -Dr. S R Ranganathan
According to Margaret Mann, classification is “the arranging of things according to likeness and unlikeness. It is the sorting and grouping of things, but in addition classification of books is a knowledge classification with adjustment made necessary by the physical forms of books.”
Library Classification can also be considered to be a process of putting books and other reading material on a subject in a logical sequence on the shelf, which could be of immense help to the users. It requires an adept thorough study and practice in the technique of classification of books, knowledge of the details and handling of the scheme of classification.
Components of Library Classification:
Library Classification is a process of translating the specific subject of a book into an artificial language of ordinal numbers, which in classificatory language are helpful in arriving at a logical arrangement. The essential components of a scheme of library classification are:
- Notation: It is a set of symbols that stand for a class or a subject, e.g., philosophy and literature, and its sub-division example, ethics, and English literature representing a scheme of classification. For the purpose of arranging books, the use of names of the subjects, broad or specific in the natural language, would neither be practicable nor convenient, so these are translated into the artificial language of ordinal numbers.
- Form Division: Knowledge may be presented in one form or another; the form could be a textbook, manual, history, dictionary, or encyclopedia. These forms or styles of presenting knowledge of a subject could be commonly applied to any subject. Book classification takes care of representing form in the Call Number. The numbers representing the forms of books are called form divisions. They are also known as common sub-divisions or common isolates.
- Generalia Class: There are certain books, such as encyclopedias, bibliographies, and an author’s collected writings, which cannot be classified under any specific subject since they cover all subjects under the sun and hence are classified under the Generalia Class.
- Index: The index is an essential component of a Library Classification scheme, provided at the end of the scheme. It is of immense value to the members in their handling of a classified part of the catalogue.
- Call Number: In classifying, each book is provided with a distinguished number specified to it, which can be used for calling the book from the stats and replacing it on its return to its rightful place. It is known as a Call Number.
Needs of library classification
A library classification is a system of organizing library materials (books, journals, documents, etc.) in a structured and systematic way to make them easily accessible to library users. The primary needs of library classification include:
Efficient organization of library materials: Library classification helps to organize materials systematically, allowing librarians and users to locate and retrieve items efficiently. Library materials would be disorganized and difficult to locate without a classification system.
Facilitating easy access to library material: Library classification helps to facilitate access to materials by grouping related items together. This makes it easier for users to find materials on a particular topic or subject area.
Supporting research and study: A good library classification system helps users to identify and access materials relevant to their research and study needs. It provides a logical framework for organizing materials by subject, author, and other relevant criteria.
Standardization: Library classification systems provide a standardized approach to organizing materials. This makes it easier for libraries to share materials with other libraries and for users to navigate different libraries with different collections.
Preservation: Library classification systems help to preserve materials by providing a systematic way to organize and maintain them. This helps to ensure that materials are not lost or damaged over time.
User satisfaction: A well-designed library classification system improves user satisfaction by making it easier for users to locate materials and access the information they need. This, in turn, encourages users to use the library more frequently and effectively.
- Improved search capabilities: With library classification, users can conduct effective searches using keywords, author names, and subject headings, among other search criteria.
- Better user experience: Library classification improves the user experience by providing a clear and intuitive system for accessing and navigating library materials.
Overall, the needs of library classification are essential to ensuring that libraries can provide effective and efficient services to their users.
References: (This document is collected from materials available from online/web and organize here for LIS students)
- KRISHAN KUMAR. Theory of classification. 1993. Vikas Publishing; New Delhi. p1.
- SHARMA (C D). Use of libraries: A guide to better use of libraries and their resources. 1978. Metropolitan Book; New Delhi. p-120.
- SHARMA (C D). Op. cit., p 121.
- KRISHAN KUMAR. Op. cit., p 4.
- INDIRA GANDHI NATIONAL OPEN UNIVERSITY (IGNOU). Unit 2: Needand purpose of library classification. IGNOU; New Delhi. p 26.
- DUTTA (Dwijendranath). Library classification: Theory and practice. 1962. The Western Book Depot; Nagpur. p 48.
- RAJU (Addepali Appala Narasimha). Dewey decimal classification (DDC 20): Theory and practice: A practical and self instructional manual. 1995. T.R. Publications; Madras. p 4.
- CHOWDHURY (G G). Introduction to modern information retrieval. Ed. 3. 2004. Facet Publishing; London. p 89.
- All post of LibraryClassification here
- About Library Classification
- Types of Library Classification Schemes
- Features of Library Classification Scheme
- Purpose & Objectives of Library Clasification
- Dewey Decimal Classification: Brief Information of DDC
- DDC 23rd Edition
- Advantages and Disadvantages of DDC (Dewey Decimal Classification) Scheme
- Colon Classification: A brief Information About Library Colon Classification
- Advantages and Disadvantages of Colon Classification (CC)
- Universal Decimal Classification (UDC)
- Advantages and disadvantages of UDC (Universal Decimal Classification)
- Comparative Analysis Between DDC, UDC, and CC Classification Scheme
- Library Classification Schemes
- Enumerative Classification Scheme
- Freely Faceted Classification
- Difference between Natural Classification and Artificial Classification
- Special features of Book Classification and its type
- Generalia Class / Waste-Paper Basket Class
- Criteria of book classification
- Purposes of library classification