Two months ago, Tim Spalding of LibraryThing called for a new classification system to be created, called the Open Shelves Classification (OSC) system The primary reason is that the world has outgrown Dewey, which is not only too old and biased but is also a proprietary system. The call was put out and, a short time later, two people offered to shepherd the contributors.
Now, the project has announced a preliminary set of Top Level Categories. So far, they have found consensus on two points:
- “More top level categories is better than fewer.”
- “The levels should be focused on the needs of public libraries”
For the first point, they’re not kidding about having more top level categories: the list currently sits at 41, which is 20 more than the Library of Congress Classification system.
If you work in a public library (or have a good understanding of their collection), consider taking part in this effort. It sounds very interesting and worthwhile.