Libraries and how to classify your own collections


MadTom writes

"Part of a series called "Hacking the Library", this installment further explores what the author, Kendall Grant Clark, calls "dijalog", or "the confluence and intertwingling of the digital and the analog" as it applies to library constructs. His main premise about libraries as both a social and physical space is:

by navigating through, that is, by cleverly inhabiting, a particular, highly regimented social space, you can identify, locate, and interact with objects -- born digital, born physical, or both -- that represent or constitute your very own culture, or cultures far removed in space and time from your own.

The article goes on to discuss ways to use library classifications schemes on your own collections

Read the full article
(, March 17, 2004)


As a cataloger, I always think it's kind of weird when people catalog their own materials in their "home libraries." My boyfriend (who isn't a librarian) reorganized all his bookshelves by LC one day. I myself get enough of that on the job, maybe.

So how many of you have your books in some kind of order? Has anyone gone so far as to barcode/spine label their personal collection???

I have mine in 5 sections.

Programming/computer stuff
Fiction (by author)
Old text books
Misc or Oversized (for my little shelves)

The DVD's are just alphabetical by title.

We have to. We have too much "stuff" and it's the only way to manage it. Books are catalogued by "type" (literature, history, science, then we've made subcategories within those, alphabetical by author), then recorded music (three "big" sections: Jazz, alphabetical by artist, European Classical, alphabetical by composer, "MISC!", secondary categories like "African" and "Film Soundtracks"). Then there's the recent DVD collection, alphabetical by title EXCEPT for music related DVDs stored with the rest of the recorded music. NO barcoding! At least not yet...though there's been a "family council" meeting to discuss it. Sometimes I'm a little appalled at it all...

I've got my books in order--fantasy & science fiction shelved together, other fiction, history, biography, science, as well as separating mass market paperbacks from hardcover and trade paperbacks.

But surely everyone does that, or some version of that reflecting what they've got and how they group it together in their own minds? How else would you find anything, once you've gone beyond one or two bookcases of books? I've never catalogued them or anything obsessive like that.:)

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