Reorganizing Classification

Hello again,

I had asked about this before and decided that I am going to do a topic classification, no numbers at all.

With that said I am having a bit of trouble on figuring out my topics...

so far I have:

R – Relationships

          RM – Marriage

          RD – Divorce

          RP – Parenting

          RPM – Mothers

          RPF – Fathers

          RS – Sexuality/Sex

          RT – Dating

          RF – Family

RFC – Family Concerns

B – Biography

T – Trinity

          TF – Father/God

          TS- Son/Jesus Christ

          TH – Holy Spirit

YA – Young Adult

          YAF – Young Adult Fiction

          YAN – Young Adult Non-Fiction

+ -- Kids (7-12 reading level)

          +F – Fiction

          +N – Non-Fiction

++ -- Kids (>7 years old/non-readers)

BOARD – Kids (board books)


These ones I am fairly set on, as I did start using some, but I am having trouble with the rest....

The vision I am using is:

#1 Joining Christ (Deepening personal relationship/daily Christian living)

#2 Building Families (intake Word of God/Invest Families)

#3 Transforming Communities (serving community/sharing Christ)


Under the #1 I would have topics on the Trinity, personal growth books

Under #2 I would have the relationship section

Under #3 I would have community related books and missions


My question for all of you is what other subject/topic headers should I use? Or any subheaders you think I need? The kids-YA section will be in its own area so I don't need topics for those...maybe the YA, but not right now. I was also thinking about having a question shelf also (the good book company has several short books, booklets really, on topics like being gay, the holy spirit, is hell for real, is forgiveness really free, why bother with church, etc)...if I bought all those little booklets could I just label one shelf Questions? and then put them all together, even though they may otherwise be separated throughout the library?

Another side of this is that having books in topic sections would allow me to know what kinds of books we currently have, and which we need more of. Also, the subheaders, RM, RS, RFC, etc, would probably have a small label on the shelf, but relationships would be the bigger header. and Building Families would be the biggest at the top of that area.

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  • I agree with Eva Nell.  Dewey has done all the work for you.  I think in time you will wish you had used Dewey.  You can help your congregation with shelf labels with topics like Easter, etc.  Your computer will help your congregation find things quickly and that is your goal. Whatever you decide, remember you need to leave a legacy, not a mess for those who follow you.  

    • Did I cause confusion? The topics that I posted in the first post is based off of Dewey Decimal System as I understand it. I THOUGHT I was being helpful to go along with the original poster's pattern. Maybe not? I apologize if I stirred about confusion. 

      For my personal sanity, I stick with Dewey Decimal  - except with the children's collection (preschool thru early readers) which is a bit of a mix at the moment. As a novice, I'm learning how to make the system work for our library and yet how to be sensible and consistent for librarians who follow,

      It's fun to see how when I give a new incoming book a call number according to the Dewey System, the book then find its place nesting beside other books of the same subject.  

      I LOVE  A Classification System for Libraries and use it quite often. Please seriously consider purchasing this book. It's always beside me as I process books. It helps me to bring consistency. 

      Book Link

  • You might consider the resource A Classification System for Church Libraries? Many librarians use this tool to help make Dewey work for church librarians. That may give you the topics you are looking for as well. 

    A Classification System for Church Libraries, Revised
    A Classification System for Church Libraries, Revised, is an easy-to-use volume that contains the Dewey Decimal Classification System numbers used mo…
    • Thanks, I'll check it out.

  • I use the Dewey Decimal System and find it very easy to classify books.  Besides having the DD classification number on the spines of the books, I also place shelf labels showing the root classification number and the topic header, such as "Christian Family Life  -  248; Prayer and Devotionals  -  242;  Salvation and Grace  -  234; Jesus Christ  -  232; God and the Holy Spirit - 131; etc.  Some other spine labels that I use are the first letter of the category:  F for Fiction; B for Biography; Y for Youth; J for Juvenile; C for Children.  Youth and Juvenile non-fiction is handled the same as adult non-fiction, but with the proper letter preceeding the DD number.  You can also hang a DD Classification System poster on the wall, which will show further topic breakdowns.  I suggest that you keep it as simple as possible and to use a system that many people of all ages are already familiar with.  I pray that it goes well for you which ever system you choose.

    • Whoops - typing error.  God and the Holy Spirit should be 231.  My classification resource book is called, "A Classification System for Church Libraries."  You can purchase a hard copy or download it from Lifeway.  I think I bought mine from Amazon, years ago.

    • Thanks for the prayer :) The previous librarian had made up a system that was a mix of dewey and something else, so I have to redo everything anyway, which is partly why I am doing it. The second part is when I looked up dewey I couldn't find much in the way of broad topics for christian books. There was christian living, I think, but it encompassed a large amount of subtopics. The third part is so I know the types of books we have and what we need more of. Lastly, the vision is part of the churches new vision so it would flow easily with that and reinforce what the vision is and what it looks like. If I am not understanding dewey please direct me to what I am not getting. I am new at this and haven't worked in an official library before.

  • Why reinvent the wheel?   The Dewey Decimal Classification System works for all types of libraries.  People are very transient people and using this system allows one to be familiar with classification wherever they go.    The topics can well be used as subject headings to identify the type of materials you have.  I am totally against the change and would not recommend it to anyone.  I trust that you will reconsider such a change.

    • You are going to be very disappointed as I will not reconsider. I want everyone to walk into the library and find books they want to read quickly. Dewey doesn't allow for that within Christian book topics, it's not broad enough. Also, the previous librarian created her own system of Dewey, using some and making up other numbers, so I have to redo it anyway. 

    • Eva, what do you think of the following?

      Within the Dewey Decimal System, I started to put up shelf labels. 

      For instance, with "Private Worship" I placed shelf labels like the following: 

      Private Worship 248.3

      I need to do the same with Relationships.  So instead of the lettered spine labels, I plan to keep the Dewey Decimal System numbers. 

      Your thoughts? 

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