Dewey Decimal Classification

In this session, we’ll start with the basics of Dewey Classification (call numbers) from a high level overview through to notation (call number creation). Why is the hierarchy (really!) important? What are the parts of a DDC call number? What is its relationship to the subject headings? What is notation? To cutter or not to cutter – and is that a question? Where can you truncate  – 3 digits, 5 digits, wherever you want? (not exactly!) Facets? What are those and where do I find them? Are there ANY resources to get me started? 

Some familiarity with MARC will be helpful, but this class is meant to be introductory and practical. Staff with more experience in DDC call numbers will likely discover new resources and perhaps, even think of their work in a different way.

New catalogers will benefit from a solid foundation in DDC call numbers. WebDewey will be used as a resource for illustration. This workshop will focus on neutral DDC Edition 23 vs. local decisions. Don’t worry – we will talk about the difference, too! 

Audience: All audiences who do or are interested in cataloging or technical services work especially those working with Dewey, metadata work, or archives, or systems staff; public services staff wishing to understand more about the data they see in the ILS may be interested, too! 


Robin Fay is an Instructor and Metadata Librarian who has worked with academic, public, and community college libraries, multistate consortia, and nonprofit organizations including Orbis Cascade Alliance, the Digital Public Library of America, the University System of Georgia, and, among others. Her interests are in immersive technologies and the intersection of machine learning, data, and us! Feel free to connect with Robin at LinkedIn or elsewhere.