The buzz surrounding the replacement of Dewey seems to be growing louder. Many librarians are saying that BISAC (Book Industry Standards and Communications system of classification) may take Dewey’s place.
I cringe to think of a world without the Dewey Decimal System. From my understanding, while some libraries are considering the change over to BISAC, they are hesitating because of the time and cost. To change over to a new system of cataloguing will require cataloguers, and then staff and patrons, to learn an entirely new set of categories and subdivisions. Tutorials will need to be created to assist both staff and patrons learn the new categories and cataloguers will have to take the time to learn new cataloguing rules and subject headings. New in-house rules will also have to be developed. And, as we are all well-aware, no classification system will provide descriptions for everything. As a result, there will be exceptions to the new categories and new subject headings or uses will have to be determined.
If you’re interested in learning about BISAC, here’s an interview with Dr. Lois Chan from the University of Kentucky. This first appeared on the August 6th edition of LibVibe.