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Classification--Books--Library science ; Libraries--United States--History ; Cataloging--United States


Library of Congress Classification (LCC) and Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) have been widely used in American libraries for over 100 years. Since their adoption, librarians have been interrogating the structure of these classification schemas and finding that these systems will not equitably represent the resources in their collections. One solution to this problem is creating an alternative classification system that modifies the existing schema or creates a wholly new alternative.

This presentation will explore two different types of alternative classification systems: those built for special libraries and those constructed to improve access to resources by and about historically marginalized groups. It will introduce alternative or modified classification schemes created from as early as the 1930s through the modern day. These systems make room for non-English, non-white, and non-Eurocentric modes of knowledge organization that can be more intuitive and beneficial to patrons. Exploring these systems allows librarians to trace gaps and marginalization that have persisted in systems like LCC and DDC and provides a foundation for finding solutions.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License.



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