On 12/4/13 11:10 AM, Kyle Banerjee wrote:
> But this is horribly hacky and a lot of work for relatively little gain.
> When you get right down to it, the only purpose of a call number is to
> physically collocate materials on the shelf and it's not really that useful
> for search which is why practically no one aside from a few cataloging
> nerds do call number searches. Plus, anyone geeky enough to do a call
> number search actually must know what call number range is relevant to
> their needs. Keep in mind that in many cases, no decent call number exists
> for a concept and the best one available really is quite crummy so
> prominently displaying that won't necessarily be a good thing.
Well, I have to disagree with some of this. Although the "call number"
is the shelf location, it has topical meaning that, while undoubtedly
not perfect, is supposed to collocate items based on their subject
matter. With LCC the big problem is that you can walk down an aisle with
similar-looking numbers and have passed into a very different subject
area. You can sometimes figure this out by book titles, but unlike STEM
journal article titles, book titles can be more "catchy" than
informative. "Don't think of an elephant!" is a book on progressive
political rhetoric. (Thanks, a lot, Lakoff) "The anarchist in the
library" is a book about information distribution and the social order.
(Thanks, Siva V.)
I think we have done users a disservice for decades expecting them to
somehow magically guess what they are looking at on the shelf.
Collocation only takes you so far, because at some juncture, two books
beside each other on the shelf are going to *have* to be about different
topics even though their class numbers sort beside each other. I'm all
for serendipity, but some information seeking needs an informed user.
> On Tue, Dec 3, 2013 at 6:35 PM, Harper, Cynthia <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> I'm thinking of trying to enhance the call-number browse pages on a
>> Millennium catalog with meanings of the classification ranges taken from
>> the LoC Classification database.
>> a typical call-number browse page might look like this:
>> I'd like to intersperse the call-number listing with call-number range
>> meanings like
>> BX100 - Christian denominations - Eastern churches
>> Has anyone tried this? Can you point me to the API documentation for the
>> LC Classification?
>> Cindy Harper
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