[bksvol-discuss] Re: categories

  • From: "Roger Loran Bailey" <dmarc-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> (Redacted sender "rogerbailey81@xxxxxxx" for DMARC)
  • To: bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 07 Jul 2015 20:51:05 -0400

The Library of Congress has an extensive list of categories that are tied to the ISBNs and could be used to recategorize the entire collection automatically. I suspect that it might be a cut down version of that list of categories that was used in the latest category upgrade anyway. At least when submitting a book and after entering the ISBN you will now find certain categories already checked and you can alter that if you think it should be altered. I suppose the preset categories come from the publishers and are supplied to the Library of Congress. That means that it is not necessarily all that accurate.The publishers use categories and genres for marketing purposes and they might categorize a book in a category that doesn't quite fit because they think it will sell better that way. Honestly, I see a better way though. There are lumpers and splitters when it comes to categories. In some cases I am a lumper. For example, I am pretty satisfied with the category crime fiction and do not want to bother figuring out if it is a cozy mystery, a police procedural, a amateur slueth story or whatever. When it comes to science fiction and fantasy, though, I am definitely a splitter and I can confidently split my science fiction into steampunk, space opera, time travel and numerous other subgenres. At Open Library they satisfy both lumpers and splitters. First, they do seem to populate tags for categorizing books with the list from the Library of Congress, but then they allow anyone who comes along to add or remove categories according to what they know of the book. You click a button and you are taken to editable fields where you type in tags representing the categories you think should apply. If someone makes a mistake or vandalizes the next user can correct it. Then at the bottom of each search results page is a list of tags that have been given to all books in that list of results. You can click on any of those tags and get a list of every book that has received that tag. I really think that would be better for Bookshare. That way the categories would represent what the users actually find useful. It would not have to replace the current category structure either. It could well supplement it. I use Open Library as an example, but a lot of sites do the same thing, like Paperback Swap, Goodreads and to a certain extent even Amazon.

On 7/7/2015 10:28 AM, john.falter wrote:

Is someone going to recategorize 300,000 books?


On 7/7/2015 6:48 AM, Ann Parsons wrote:
Hi all,

I'm no librarian, but if I were to google the LOC numbers for fantasy and for Science Fiction, they would be separate numbers. The same would be true of the Dewey Decimal system. If Bookshare wants to be known as an online library, then it should follow library conventions! We have over 300,000 books now. We aren't just a small project run by a visionary. We're a library, a real, honest to goodness library! We better start acting like it, don't you think? If the Marakesh treaty goes through, then we'll have people from all over the world searching our library for books. Having Science Fiction and Fantasy lumped together is an embarrassment! It's a left-over from ten years ago. Let's fix it, eh?

Ann P.




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