Data Obsessed

The weblog of an almost-librarian interested in special, corporate, and government librarianship, with occasional forays into technology and anime-related geekiness.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

The Prejudice of the DDC

This is an interesting link, but it discusses something that I would have thought was patently obvious.

Yes, the Dewey Decimal System is obviously prejudiced, and has likely been so since it's inception. The classification of Religion within the classification scheme is the most widely cited and obvious example of this; nine-tenths of that particular division is devoted to the dominant faith of Melvil Dewey's day: Christianity. Even if Christianity remains the dominant religion today, it is hardly the only dominant one, and in the era of globalization, the need to make room for other, more diverse subjects is clearly required.

But what are we to do about this? Such a change would, as the author of this article points out, wreak havoc in the libraries that use the DDC - libraries that include school media centers, public libraries, and even large academic institutions such as the University of Illinois. It would involve re-cataloging entire sections, and having visited the cataloging department here at the University of Wisconsin, I know that idea would not be greeted with a great deal of enthusiasm.

To say the very least.


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