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Moving Beyond the Presentation Layer: Content and Context in the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) System

Moving Beyond the Presentation Layer: Content and Context in the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) System

by Joan S. Mitchell (Editor), Diane Vizine-Goetz (Editor)

Can the Dewey Decimal System meet the needs of the rapidly changing information environment?

Moving Beyond the Presentation Layer explores the Dewey Decimal System from a variety of perspectives, each of which peels away a bit of the "presentation layer"—the familiar linear notational sequence-to reveal the content and context offered by the DDS. Library


Can the Dewey Decimal System meet the needs of the rapidly changing information environment?

Moving Beyond the Presentation Layer explores the Dewey Decimal System from a variety of perspectives, each of which peels away a bit of the "presentation layer"—the familiar linear notational sequence-to reveal the content and context offered by the DDS. Library professionals from around the word examine how the content and context offered by the DDS can evolve to meet the needs of the changing information environment, with a special focus on the impact of the Internet on current and future developments.

Moving Beyond the Presentation Layer examines whether the Dewey Decimal System is a rigid structure best suited to a physical information environment or a polymorphic one that can be adapted to meet a variety of physical and virtual needs. This unique book reviews the 40-year history of the online use of classification systems, the development of the Relative Index over 22 editions of the DDC, recommendations to ensure the viability of the DDC in a time of mass digitization, using DDS in an environment where it hasn’t been used before, teaching the DDS, special issues related to the use of the DDS in Europe, North America, and Africa, and the future of online classification.

Topics examined in Moving Beyond the Presentation Layer include:

  • using the DDC as the browsing mechanism for resource discovery
  • classification as an online cataloging tool
  • classification as an online end-user tool
  • browser behavior in a DDC-based Web service
  • the role of the DDS in the ongoing HILT (High-Level Thesaurus) project
  • using the DDS to organize Web resources
  • localization and interoperability in knowledge organization
  • mapping terminologies to classification systems
  • the DeweyBrowser
  • and much more
Moving Beyond the Presentation Layer is an essential professional resource for librarians, information scientists, computer scientists, and metadata and Web services specialists.

Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: C. L. Vargo, MA, MLS (Magee Women's Hospital)
Description: This is a collection of articles derived from Cataloging & Classification Quarterly, which explores the application and adaptation of the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) system across media and geographic boundaries.
Purpose: The book seeks to explore the relevancy and future of Dewey Decimal Classification. Although it is sometimes challenged, these articles suggest that DDC has proven itself to be a flexible tool for the purposes of organizing various types of information and resources. For the most part, this effort succeeds.
Audience: Students, academics, and others interested in the DDC would find this book of interest. Both editors have a long established history with Dewey use.
Features: The book discusses historical, present, and future applications for the Dewey Decimal system within varied media forms. Showing how Dewey can be adapted to fit collection needs, as well as cultural considerations, is an intriguing aspect of the book. DDC and the complexities of web OPACs are also of interest.
Assessment: This collection provides ample food for thought to those who might dismiss the current relevance of the DDC. However, the merits of repackaging previously published articles as monographs may not have the lasting impact or enduring value hoped for.

Product Details

Taylor & Francis
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.70(d)

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What People are Saying About This

Chew Chiat Naun
TIMELY. . . . The perspectives that international practitioners bring to this volume are valuable, partly because of the light that they cast on the cultural assumptions behind our classification practices in areas such as religion, history and music, but also because they allow us to view the whole enterprise of classification through fresh eyes. Of particular interest is the report by Magda Heiner-Freiling on the ambitiously conceived implementation of Dewey at the Deutsche Bibliothek. Heiner-Freiling and her colleagues clearly regard the true role of Dewey as that of a fully-fledged subject access system, not merely a shelf ordering device, and they strive to bend the intellectual edifice of the classification to their needs with all the professional acumen and technical ingenuity at their disposal. This volume is TO BE WELCOMED FOR THE VIVID SNAPSHOT THAT IT GIVES US OF PRACTITIONERS from many backgrounds engaging creatively with the fundamentals of their craft. (Chew Chiat Naun, MA, BA, Senior Coordinating Cataloguer, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
Ia Cecilia McIlwaine
This book is A TIMELY AND VALUABLE CONTRIBUTION TO THE LITERATURE ON INFORMATION RETRIEVAL and demonstrates clearly that classification schemes that have been in existence for a great many years still have much to offer in the world of the Internet. The use of a logical and well-known tool which enables the user to approach information in an organized way is essential in today's world. The use of a classification that is available in a number of languages, as is shown, for instance, by the decision of the Swiss National Library to adopt it, has the added attraction of over-riding the constrictions and complexities of natural language. This book will be INVALUABLE TO TEACHERS, STUDENTS AND TO PRACTICING PROFESSIONALS and is A WELCOME ADDITION TO THE LITERATURE OF KNOWLEDGE ORGANIZATION. The names of the editors speak for themselves and their choice and collection of contributions shows a clear path for future research and applications. The combination of the invaluable survey of the literature, the examination of the practical application of the classification both in the library school and in the wide world and the experiences of the application of the scheme in the Web environment means that THERE IS SOMETHING HERE FOR EVERYONE, whatever their needs. AN EXCELLENT ADDITION TO THE LITERATURE ON RETRIEVAL IN GENERAL AND THE DEWEY DECIMAL CLASSIFICATION SPECIFICALLY. (Ia Cecilia McIlwaine, BA, PhD, FSA, FCLIP, Emeritus Professor of Library & Information Studies in the University of London and former Director of the School of Library, Archive and Information Studies, University College London. Editor in chief, Universal)
Shawne D. Miksa
MARKEY'S ADMONISHMENT ALONE IS WORTH PROCURING THIS COLLECTION. The depth's of Miksa's study of the Relative Index is a testament to the enticing nature of a classification system. For those who struggle to teach the system, Taylor's investigation into instructional ancedotes is comforting reality. When teaching the DDC, I must constantly defend it, along with the entirety of library classification in general. Why this struggle? Here we are shown how to study and to adapt a system of knowledge organization. It is not the re-invention of tools that moves us forward, but rather their evolution. (Shawne D. Miksa, PhD, Assistant Professor, School of Library and Information Sciences, University of North Texas)
Anita S. Coleman
An intricately wrought patchwork quilt about bibliographic classification especially as it relates to the new uses of the DDC in digital information contexts. Markey's stories about futuristic classification systems such as AUDACITY, the attempts to integrate classification and online catalog research in Carlyle's TOMUS, and the clearly articulated investigative lines for classification online, are NOT ONLY THOUGHT-PROVOCATIVE BUT AN ENGROSSING READ that will appeal to newcomers and established practitioners and research. Educators will be able to pick up lots of teaching tips in Taylor's Teaching the DDC. The theory, practice, and challenges of teaching DDC along with solutions are clearly described. . . . What struck this reviewer most was the readability of these technical articles; many find library classification boring and think it belongs to the past. Moving Beyond the Presentation Layer refutes this notion. . . . Editors and authors are commended for putting together A SCINTILLATING TREATISE ON THE NEW USES OF THE DDC FOR ORGANIZING DIGITAL INFORMATION. (Anita S. Coleman, PhD, MLS, MSEd, BA, Assistant Professor SIRLS, University of Arizona)

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