MC Library shifting to updated catalog system

Is the library digitizing? This is a question that has been brought up by many students who are curious about the goings on at our library recently, and the straight answer is, no they are not. 

The library is converting its catalog system from the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) system, into the now-current Library of Congress Classification (LCC). The wider spread of classifications for books is more suited for an academic library that is dealing with more specific books in categories than what a public library would be sorting with. 

According to Maryville College Archivist Amy Lundell, digitizing is the process in which physical media and information are converted into a digital format. One process of this would be to take a physical book, scan the pages and upload them into an online database. This is what Lundell does with old articles from the school’s historical media records.
“The Library is not doing what I am doing,” Lundell said.

Instead, they are moving books to be sorted in different areas. This is causing a lot of noticeable movement, which may have confused students.

The Dewey Decimal Classification system, made in 1873 by Melvil Dewey, is mostly used by public libraries or K-12 libraries, and the Library of Congress Classification system, developed by James Hanson and Charles Martel in 1897, is used mostly by large academic libraries. 

The main classes of the LCC are General Works, Philosophy/Psychology/Religion, Auxiliary Sciences of History, World History and History of Europe, History of the Americas, Geography/Anthropology/Recreation, Social Sciences, Political Science, Law, Education, Music and books on Music, Fine Arts, Language and Literature, Science, Medicine, Agriculture, Technology, Military Science, Naval Science, and Bibliography/Library Science/Information Resources. There are many subclasses underneath these main classes.

During this sorting process, librarians assess whether textbooks need updating to the latest version. For instance, they may replace an outdated biology textbook from the 80s with the newest edition from 2020. Additionally, if books are damaged or missing, librarians also take the initiative to replace them.

The DDC system has a noticeably smaller list of categories, with Computer science/Information/General works, Philosophy and Psychology, Religion, Social sciences, Language, Science, Technology, Arts and recreation, Literature, History and geography. 

Since the DDC system was created at an earlier time, places for books that fit themes like computer science and other standouts were fitted into it awkwardly. Thus a new system, LCC, was created for a more modern version for libraries of a much broader scope.

Changing the physical category system of MC’s library will better suit the needs of the college, making it more convenient for students and faculty in any discipline to find what they need.

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