Currently, our library is considering reclassifying and updating the collection on psychology and HCI. But which classification to use? What are the salient parts for the people now, and which might they be alter? How to leave space for future work, and where? Our library uses a system similar to the Library of Congress, in that it uses letters as its first classification, rather than numbers.

So, do we need a capital for this category, or could we go with a two-letter classification as the main category? Currently, psychology is a three-letter category and HCI isn’t a category at all, with the results that the books go any which way. While this isn’t a big problem when searching online through the catalogue, it does make it rather difficult to browse through books in the neighbourhood to see if there’s anything interesting nearby.

I couldn’t resist temptation and volunteered to help make a set-up for the new categories, together with my supervisor. If this sounds as though my supervisor made me, well, please, drop the idea. We are both rather passionate on the topic of information sharing, and I at least go down to the library at least once a month. The front-row librarians all know me an a first-name base, because I’ve asked questions and made some well-received suggestions for improving the library.

So now, I get to look into already existing classifications and see what they are made of. It’s rather interesting really. Did you know that industrial psychology in the LoC classification belongs to the subclass of social sciences, commerce, while pretty much everything else belongs under subclass psychology? The next thing to delve into is the Dewey Decimal Classification. Monday we’re having a meeting to discuss our ideas and the books we would love to see in the library.

Which classification does your library use? Are you happy with it? And which books do you consider essential for psychology and/or HCI?