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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Types of Classification Scheme

A library classification is a system by which library materials are arranged according to subject. Library classifications use a notational system that represents the order of topics in the classification and allows items to be stored in that order. Library classification systems group related materials together, typically arranged in a hierarchical tree structure. A different kind of classification system, called a faceted classification system, is also widely used which allows the assignment of multiple classifications to an object, enabling the classifications to be ordered in multiple ways. The library classification numbers can be considered identifiers for resources but are distinct from the International Standard Book Number (ISBN) or International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) system.

Enumerative Library classification Scheme:-
An enumerative Library classification scheme is a scheme where all the possible classes are enumerated according to certain characteristics. There is a top down approach whereby aseries of subordinate classes are producedand where both simple and complex subjectsare listed. The advantageof this scheme is that the structure of the scheme is shown bythe notation as far as practicable. Users can easily find the coordinate and subordinate classes and can make a map of the subject. The disadvantage is that it is difficult to accommodate new subjects and frequent revisions may be required. An enumerative classification scheme, in some cases, displays hierarchical structures of notation. The basic tenet of this scheme is that all the possible subjects and topics are listed along witha predefined class number, and therefore the classifier does not have to create any class numbersuch as Dewey Decimal Classification.

 Analytico-Synthetic Library classification Scheme:-
Analytico-Synthetic Library classification schemes resolve some of the problems of enumerative classification schemes. The concept behind this scheme is that the subject of a given document will be divided into itsconstituent elements and then the classification scheme will be used to find notations for each element, which will then be combined according to the prescribed rules to prepare the final class number. This scheme overcomes the two major problems of enumerative classification schemes as, by providing various tables, specific notational symbols and rules, they avoid the necessity for a long list of classes, and thus produce a smaller classification scheme in size; they also provide flexibility to users as specific numbers can be built and the classifier is not restricted by the availability of a specific subject. Nevertheless, it makes classifiers job complex since they have to construct the class numbers as opposed to just selecting one from a list like Universal Decimal Classification.

 Faceted classification Scheme:-
A faceted classification scheme is on the other extreme of the scale since instead of listing of all the classes and the corresponding numbers, it lists the various facets of every subject or main class and provides a set of rules for constructing class numbers through facet analysis. The concept of facet analysis was proposed by Dr. S. R. Ranganathan and was used in his faceted classification scheme called Colon Classification. The basic idea was that any component or facet of a subject can fit into five fundamental categories: Personality, Matter, Energy, Space and Time which became the major focus of classification research from 1930 onwards resultingin to the Colon Classification.

1. Wikipedia: Collected from 12-07-2013
2. IGNOU LIS Study Materials.

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