I am in the process of adding to our library, "The pursuit of God," by A. W. Tozer.  I have checked several resources, including the LOC which didn't give a Dewey number.  At all the other places, no one used the same Dewey number.  Which Dewey number is the most appropriate or what is the one you use?  Thanks in advance for your help. 

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Our copy is classified as 248.4 but 248 would be equally acceptable depending on the size of your library

Thanks for your reply, Jennie.  I will use 248.4 as it is among the number of DD numbers being used.  You really helped me to make up my mind.

Ann, the number for God is 231.  That is what we use.  You will find that the number 248.4 will become the largest in your library in the 200 section.   Since this book is specifically about God I would place it in 231 with a simple subject heading of GOD.

Your are certainly correct about the 248-plus classification category.  Books can easily get overlooked there.  Thank you for your suggestion.  I think I should re-classify this book to 231.

In defence of my choice (and we all have to make choices based on our own libraries), this book deals with our response to God, our worship and love of Him - hence the classification in 'Christian Living'. Books on the essence of God, which this one isn't, I agree, should be in 231. According to OCLC, the majority of libraries worldwide use some form of the 248 number with just a tiny minority using 231.7. My suggestion is to put it where it best fits your readers.

Thank you, Jennie, for your input.  I think I'm as mixed up now as I was before I posted the question.  Silly me - I should have prayed at the very first.  :)

I know how that feels - I often agonize over some books when they can fit into several different classifications. My default is sometimes 'where will my readers think of looking for this' and other times 'what similar books do we have on this subject and how are they classified'. Hope this helps a little.

See if this helps you decide:


Ann, I'm just going to make one more comment.  When you start checking with other libraries including those which are not church libraries, you will find different numbers.  Many and perhaps most libraries choose the number given by the Library of Congress.  You can imagine that all those working on the Dewey classifications are not Christians.  If anything seems to be of a Christian nature it is placed in the 248s because it is on Christian life.  In church libraries our books are of a Christian nature and we place them where they would belong.  That is especially true of such numbers as those for marriage and parenting which we place in the 300s and 600s where they belong.

However, remember this point.  Regardless of where you classify a book, you know exactly where to go to get it when you look it up in your library catalog.  You do a great work, Ann, and more than you should have to do alone.  Blessings!

Well said, Eva

Agreed, Eva! Appreciate your wisdom...

You mentioned that the LOC didn't give a Dewey number for the Tozer book. Here is a short lesson on squeezing stuff from the LOC.   Go to the catalog (catalog.loc.gov) search the catalog for your item.  Click on Marc (at the top). The complete cataloging  information from  LOC is displayed. Look down the left column for 082. If displayed, the assigned Dewey possibly followed by the Dewey edition. I found 248. As you have found out, not all entries have an assigned Dewey.

I have now almost reached the end of my knowledge of Marc coding.



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