It is funny how a book about "the future" of classification can become out of date in less than ten years. While not everything in here was out of date and it did contain a lot of VERY useful information there were some rather amusing bits. To me it was odd to see librarians thinking that they could use Dewey or Library of Congress to classify the web. (And to see that even in 2000 they still thought this was a viable option). The idea that the web was versatile, and that the nature of hypertext meant that things didn't need to be classified in only one place but could have multiple areas just hadn't occurred to them. There seemed to be very little awareness of any of the tools for organising and indexing webpages. There was a brief mention on page 61 of the use of Dublin core, but before the days of XML, no one was quite able to see how this could be utilised in indexing and classifying. (Which was rather surprising).

But despite this flaw this was an excellent book, on a wide variety of topics. I originally checked it out to read specifically about faceted classification and the UDC, but ended up reading all the essays. It contained a good overview of classification's aims and history. There were essays on why Dewey, Library of Congress and UDC were still relevant. (The main reason being that no one wants to have to reorganize and relabel all their books!) And there was development of the idea that classification began as a way to physically organise books into groups of similar topics, to using classification to aid in information retrieval.

P. 50 has great quotes about challenging the traditional schemes of classification because of their linear approach. And talks about the physical location aspects of classification.

There was also a very interesting article on faceted classification which shows that it is a highly successful scheme for classification within a single complex topic (69-70). It also mentioned that notation should show a preferred order and in general was very helpful for me in my assignment to create my own classification scheme.

All told a very interesting book, written in an engaging style that got across many interesting ideas and got me thinking about many different aspects of classification.


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