Ridiculous classifications!

Old book labels at the MI with long numbers

How long can UDC numbers be?

A huge part of my job is reclassifying, checking, relabelling and reshelving the entire library.  It is endless but incredibly necessary when you see some of the previous book classifications.  I mean, who needs a 33 digit classification?  With brackets, colons and all other imaginable punctuation to boot.  I was sending volunteers to find books with a cribsheet of which punctuation came where until I realised this wasn’t practical on a long term basis.

So I’m inventing my own system with a UDC basis, adding extra numbers and removing punctuation as I go.  I just hope I don’t fall into any massive pitfalls as I go.  I considered swapping entirely to Dewey but sadly we can’t actually afford access to it…  Running a library on a budget of nil again!  Even the relabelling involves volunteers with black paper, gold pens and reversible PVA.  After first checking their handwriting of course.  It’s slow, labour intensive and can mean books being backed up in the labelling queue for several weeks but the cost is very low!


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