Are you tired of Dewey and fed up with its outdated classification scheme. Do you long for an alternative that, amongst other things, makes shelving a lot easier? Whether you do or don’t, please take a moment to read a recent entry from the PLA blog titled "New Classification System for Public Libraries." The entry is contributed by a guest author, Laena McCarthy, Image Cataloger and Assistant Professor at Pratt Institute, and Project Manager for LibraryThing’s Open Shelves Classification system.
McCarthy invites us all to help build the Open Shelves Classification (OSC), a free, “humble,” modern, open-source, crowd-sourced replacement for the Dewey Decimal System. "The project began this past summer, when Tim Spalding of LibraryThing took the reins of popular library chatter and decided it was time to help coordinate the development of a new classification system. LibraryThing members, librarians, catalogers, and enthusiastic readers have joined in and contributed feedback, data, discussion and development."
McCarthy offers a number of reasons why the OSC is needed and explains that libraries today should not be constrained by the Dewey Decimal System and its mental models of the 1870s. "Nor should they be forced into a proprietary system—copyrighted, trademarked and licensed by a single entity—expensive to adopt and encumbered by restrictions on publishing detailed schedules or coordinating necessary changes." McCarthy also mentions other recent attempts to replace Dewey, including BISAC, and argues that none of them have met the needs of public libraries.
So what is your opinion? Is McCarthy moving in the right direction, or is she wasting our time? Leave a comment by clicking on the "Comments" link at the end of this entry.