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Thank you to everyone who responded. It's reassuring when you find out something 
that has been gnawing at you in your library has been an issue for others as well. 
My original TARGET and a HIT are below.


Our nonfiction books about the Titanic are not cataloged together. I would think 
they should be under 910. I'm sure some experienced LM_NETers with more cataloging 
experience than I have can shed light on why they are as they are, and whether I 
ought to/can move them so they're together. They are as follows:

The Titanic, lost and found - 387.2 (Transportation)
Draw the Titanic - 743 (Drawing -- well, I can see why this is here)
Exploring the Titanic - 363.1 (Social problems and services)
The Discovery of the Titanic - 622.19 (Mining and related)
The Titanic - 363.12 (Social problems)
The Titanic Sinks! - 363.12 (Social problems)
Titanic - 910 (Travel)
Finding the Titanic - 909 (World history)


HIT: The general consensus is to put Titanic books together (perhaps except the 
drawing book). Two people favored 363.12 and five chose 910 and one voted for 
leaving the books wherever the LOC says.

Specific responses:

While the cataloging rules may dictate specific placement of books based on their 
primary do have the right to ignore that and place all of a more 
general topic in one place. Particularly in a small collection and a school 
collection, there is a case to be made for doing so.


I never understood the 363.1 classification.  Is the Titanic a social problem or 
service?  It would be more understandable to put it with 385 (ships and boats) 
which I teach when I do DDS...but to me, ALL transportation should be in the 600's.


I don't have my Dewey at home with me, but I think 363.1 is disasters, including 
shipwrecks.  But I agree, putting something in the 300's is pretty much the same as 
throwing it away because no one will ever find it there.  (Yes, I do teach OPAC 
use, but a lot of kids just go directly to the shelves.)   I keep most of my 
Titanic stuff in 910.


I use the Titanic books as an example for students as to why they MUST learn to use 
the OPAC. I agree with you that it would be much easier if they were together. 
Sometimes I think we do aggressive recataloging to group things in the elementary 
collection to make it easier for our patrons. I wish someone would design easy 
little placeholders that look like books so I could leave messages for my students 

You will find the top ten rivers in the 900's
More of this series is in the 362's
Don't forget to check the OPAC for fiction on this topic


In Abridged Dewey 14 (don't we all have that in our home bookshelves? [giggle]) 
363.1 is "public safety programs".   However, it has not always been that topic.

Remember what you learned in your cataloging class. These tools are periodically 
updated. The 300 class was overhauled several years ago. When these things happen, 
if you don't go in and correct your old cataloging and you get in new books classed 
under the new scheme, your books will no longer be shelved together because you 
will have some under the old numbers and some under the new.

Cataloging is a living breathing system. It's not "one and done". Yes, it takes a 
lot of time to fulfill the mandate of "like materials together," but that's what 
librarians do.


363.12 - is the Dewey number for disasters, Titanic, Hindenburg, other general 
disaster books
620's if technology - physical makeup of boats
641.57 - I have a cookbook for the last meals on the Titanic
380's - transportation systems

Classification is an art - you must analyze the main emphasis of the book. 
Unfortunately most of us take the easy way out and put all the books about the many 
aspects of the Titanic in one place.

Something else to ponder? Where are your pyramid books?  in 932 or 726.


I end with Shannon Walters' well-written post:

I don't think that co-locating books on our shelves is taking "the easy way out."  
It takes effort to make certain that our classification choices reflect both use of 
the standard tools and an understanding of our library patrons.  I teach in a K-5 
school, and most of my students haven't been introduced to fractions yet.  This 
means using a decimal-based system is difficult for successful, independent 
location of resources.  Within reason, I think it's reflective of your patron base 
to make decisions about how your patron would search for the material.  My 
collection has a dozen books on the Titanic disaster, all in 910.9163 (specifically 
recommended by Abridged DDC, edition 14-see DDC Use Notes under 910.4 ).  I do 
agree that these could go in the 363s, but for my students' stage of development, 
the 300s/Social Sciences are more difficult to understand. IMHO, the Titanic with 
the 900s treatment as History/Geography simply makes more sense to elementary 
students.  As a middl!
 e schoo
l or high school librarian, you may well make other choices.

To use your examples (from  Frederick Muller's collection)...  Most likely, 
students interested in the Titanic would enjoy reading about the last meals served 
on the ship.  They might not think, unless doing full-blown Titanic research, to 
search the OPAC, and might never find this title on your shelves.  Likewise, most 
patrons searching for how-to-cook books/recipes, while finding a book with Titanic 
recipes in the 641.5s an interesting curiosity, will skip over it in favor of more 
traditional cookbooks.  In this scenario, the main audience for this book may lose 

The "easy way out" is accepting whatever call number is assigned by the vendor or 
recommended in the CIP information.  Only the librarian, with knowledge of their 
patrons and the existing collection itself, can make choices about where best to 
class a resource. 

That's my 2 cents... feel free to disagree with me!

Shannon Walters

Gail Brubaker, Librarian
San Ramon Valley Christian Academy
Danville, CA    -

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