How Books Are Classified and Arranged in the Library

how books are classified and arranged in the library

The classification system at the Library of Congress was developed by Herbert Putnam and Charles Ammi Cutter in the early twentieth century. It replaced the fixed location system of Thomas Jefferson. However, the classification system has been criticized for not having a sound theoretical basis. In addition, many decisions about classification were driven by practical concerns of the library, rather than epistemological elegance.


Libraries use classification systems to organize books into subject groups. These systems use numbers or letters to group books together by topic, author, or size. This allows serendipitous browsing of the library. Most public and academic libraries use the Library of Congress Classification System (LCS), while others use the Dewey Decimal Classification System (DDC).

The classification of a library is a complex process. The first step is to determine the primary subject of a work, and then assign a classification number. This information is used for retrieval purposes and to arrange similar items in a systematic catalogue. Once an item is assigned a class, the next step is to assign a DDC, a numerical or alphanumerical code.

A faceted classification system uses thirteen distinct categories to classify books. This method originated in the United States, and has become more widespread in Britain, where it is used by many Oxbridge colleges. There are 53 top-level classes, each represented by a three-letter code, and then sub-divisions are given numerically. These groups are then arranged alphabetically.


There are many different methods for classifying and arranging books in a library. The most basic one is alphabetical by author last name. Although it may seem obvious, this method is often not useful in large or specialized collections. While it may suffice in an elementary school library, it is not always the most convenient for users.

Another method for categorizing books in a library is using colour coding. This method enables librarians to identify genres and connect them to shelving. The advantage of this method is that it is more universally applicable. In addition, it allows librarians to recruit the help of students to help them label the books. They can also label shelves, bays, and sections.


In libraries, it is often necessary to classify books by subject, so that users can easily find them. This process is called cataloging, and the Library of Congress Classification is one example. Originally, the classification system consisted of eight levels, with four segments for each. But as space became a problem, this system had to be modified to accommodate new categories. The call numbering system is still used in some libraries, but the subject classification has changed.

There are several problems with this system. First, it lacks consistency. The system is based on the needs of librarians, and is not universal. Also, it is US-centric and has been translated into fewer languages than some other classification systems. As a result, this method is not widely used.


The classification system is a convenient way to organize books and materials. Patrons can easily scan the collection and find materials related to a particular topic. However, generalized classification is less useful as it blurs the distinction between general and specific categories. Subsidiary materials, like specialized books, often focus on a narrow topic and have long, complex classification numbers. Some of these materials can be lost in general class numbers and not be found by patrons.

Although there are some advantages and disadvantages to the classification system, alphabetical sorting is one of the most common and efficient ways to organize books. It allows patrons to find books based on topics or authors and is also the most economical method. It also allows users to discover books in a more serendipitous way.


There are two main sources of books in a library. The first is the library catalog. The other is WorldCat. Both sources use the same author names and subject descriptors to find books. The primary advantage of the latter is that you can search for books based on the same topics as in the library catalog. The downside of using these sources is that many books may have restricted full-text access. Nevertheless, they’re an effective approach for finding books.

Using secondary sources is important when you’re trying to find information on a topic. Secondary sources are documents written by others, and they can contain a lot of information. They may contain reviews, summaries, or interpretations of primary sources. For example, if you want to learn about the history of a country, you can search for scholarly journals and newspapers.

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