Library Survey 2017: classification re-visited

reclassmarking_spreadsheetexample

Example of one of our spreadsheets (re-classmarking in progress), 31 May 2017

As promised we will again respond to your feedback given in the Library Survey 2017. As in the Library Survey 2016, people have mentioned that they are not happy with the classification of the library, as it doesn’t allow for browsing, and as finding books is difficult.

Your comments in 2017 were:

  • Ordering material on one biblical book all in one place
  • more specific labelling of the books
  • Books classified to a greater extent- you cannot ‘browse’ for books that might be useful or relevant as, for example, all the New Testament books are shelved together by author, not subject
  • The index system – it is impossible to browse books by subject.

When I arrived for the beginning of the 2015-16 academic year, I was a bit surprised that even we (as library staff) couldn’t easily find some of the books!

The good news is that since October 2015 (!) we have started working on the above, by adding a running number to all new books, (since May 2016) by extending the classification scheme from 14 to 22 sections (see our web page’s Finding books), and in January 2017 we also decided to group the books in section 5 by their biblical books. Also, adding sub-sections for some areas should really help.

The bad news is that this is taking a long time, not least because we need to find the books on the shelves, remove them, do various bits and bobs on the computer, re-label them, and return them. This isn’t helped by the fact that some books are borrowed when we want to classmark them, but more importantly: we are trying to add the running number according to publication date, so there is a fair amount of Excel spreadsheet sorting, etc., needed with some sections (some books have/had the same classmark for up to 50 books!).

The other good – , and encouraging – news, though, is: we have already made good progress in some sections; notably in the section with books on Islam. One book in this section had not been borrowed since 2002, and was ear-marked to be withdrawn – however, since we re-classmarked it, it was found by someone interested in social aspects of Islam, and has been borrowed. Success!

If you would like to help us with the above process, and want to volunteer in the Library, over the summer, or during the academic year, please contact us, or talk to us in the Library.

CG

 

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