Wednesday, September 08, 2004
One New Thing: Bias in the DDC system.
Seems like everyone yesterday was linking to Why Dewey's Decimal System is prejudiced from The Journal of the Hyperlinked Organization. I used to notice this as a library patron before I even thought of taking up librarianship: mostly because finding HTML guides pretty close to the occult literature in the 000s made me a little nervous as to their content. But I can see that although the world today is not the one DDC was designed to classify, it would be a little inconvenient to rearrange it too much now. I wonder if there a future possibility of “outgrowing” existing classification systems altogether…?
In hunting about for some more info on this, I came across an article from Library Trends, Mapping Beyond Dewey's Boundaries (1998). This is not exactly light reading, but it describes an interesting experiment in using a mapping technique to reveal biases and approach classification from a different viewpoint to help alleviate those biases.
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