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Re: Reclass/relabeling project (Judy Churches) Marcia Tuttle 30 Nov 1993 20:13 UTC

Date: Tue, 30 Nov 1993 20:30:57 +1100 (EST)
From: Judy Churches <>
Subject: Re: Reclass/relabeling project (Judy Sackett)

We reclassified the Australian National University Law Library monograph
collection from Dewey to Moys and LC, Moys being a classification for Law
material which can replace and LC K or the Dewey 340 schedule.  So, we
used Moys for K and LC for other material held in the Law Library.

We classified just using the subject headings on printouts of records
(some was done in house, some by contractors who took bundles of the
printouts home). We then had the new call numbers keyed into the
classification field of our records but the item record was not altered.
[We had surprisingly few queries about numbers from our Law Faculty even
though classifying without the book in hand seemed a little risky to us at
the time but it was the only economical way to undertake the Project].

During the summer vacation our Library Computing
Unit moved the classification number into the item records and printed out
labels giving:

Old Call number, Title, accession number, new call number, sorted into old
call number order.

We hired casual staff to find the item using these labels, match the label
by checking the barcode number and the title and sticking the label on the
back of the book.  We crossed through, but did not change the old call
number in the book and we do not use book labels (see no point in these)
so the only place the number was chaged on the book was by sticking the
new label over the old one.  We stuck plain labels over the old number if
we now had a shorter number than the original Dewey number and so could
stick the new label on the spine rather then the side of the book.

As we went we reshelved.  We had intended to map the new and old space but
in the end as we had virtually no new space to manoevre in we just kept
moving, expanding the collection as we moved items to their new location,
using the floor part of the time.

Despite this slightly more muddled approach than was originally intended
it worked very well - but this was only about 40,000 items.

For every label we had left over we inserted a missing status code if the
book was not on loan and the Computing Unit changed the numbers for these
back to the original number.

As books turn up they are sent to the Bibliographic Records Unit (i.e.
Cataloguing) and the number changed in the item record and the label attached.

We did a recall of all books before starting the Project and as the
reclass had the support of the Faculty this worked well.

We used the opportunity to re-roganise quite a large slice of the Library
into a more logical order - it had grown and wandered over the years so
sequences had got into a rather strange order based on where space was
available rather than any logical order so a lot of re-shelving
not directly associated with the actual reclassification was undertaken.

We employed staff for half days only as thought this was a long enough
concentration span and they shifted books (e.g. bigs sets of law reports
were moved in order to make more room for monographs) for part of their
shift and matched labels then shelved their trolley full of books for the
next part of the Project.

I should have mentioned each person took the top of a trolley load of
books, found the batch of corresponding labels and found a spot to sit and
match and stick on labels, then shelved their trolley and started again.

It all worked well and went ahead of schedule.  I had allowed for a shelf
reading exercise at the end just to check everything was where it should
be but this soon proved unecessary and we actually finished ahead of time.

The Computing Unit provided printouts in Dewey call number order giving
author, title and the new number and in the New number, author, title, old
number so that books could be located when the catalogue and the books
did not match and also because I though the Faculty might wish to look at
the number with which they were familiar and thus see what new number had
been used but the lists were not used a great deal.

I based my methodology on a similar exercise at the Australian Defence
Forces Academy which was fortunately written up by Sue Beatty in
"Cataloguing Australia" (sorry, I'm at home and my set of the journal
is at work so cannot give you a proper citation but it was a number of
years ago) about the time I started agitating to change the Law
classification (we used LC everywhere but Law where we not only used Dewey
but the 16th ed of Dewey with a heap of in house variations which had
become so out out date it was nearly unusable).  I was thus able to use
ADFA's experiences in putting up a fully costed bid for the Project.

Judy Churches
Senior Librarian, Bibliographic Records
Australian National University