Using WebDewey and Understanding Dewey Decimal Classification 23

I know that no one reading this blog entry will be swayed by advertising copy like “Do the Dewey, Dudes!” So here’s a simple announcement about the upcoming DDC course:

If you want a thorough grounding in DDC 23, please sign up for my ALA Editions eCourse It begins on February 4th and lasts four weeks; the cost is $175. The course has been updated to include new material about WebDewey’s “Create built number” tool.

Here’s a sample from one of the instructional videos in Week 3 of the course–number ten of the sixteen included. Former students will note that I still haven’t conquered my addiction to PowerPoint clipart, but rest assured that the remainder of this video and the others have plenty of serious screenshots and useful examples from DDC itself. (I can’t show any of that because of our license agreement with OCLC.)

Syllabus of the Course

At the end of the course, you will understand the structure of DDC notation and be able to parse DDC number patterns, as well as use the DDC schedule and tables to understand the meaning of long DDC numbers. You will know how to use WebDewey 2.0 to search for and assign appropriate numbers for simple and complex subjects. You will also learn how to apply standard subdivisions from DDC Table 1 and how to build numbers from within the main schedules and the other DDC Tables. Using these skills as building blocks, you will learn how to construct fully synthetic numbers in the 400 and 800 classes.

Participants must have access to WebDewey 2.0 to take this course. You may use an existing WebDewey account from your library. If you do not have access to WebDewey, you can sign up for a 30-day free trial from OCLC at the WebDewey login page. Please put “participating in ALA online e-course” in the comments box. This will allow OCLC to set the starting date to February 4th.

Week 1 Learning Objectives At the end of Week 1 you will be able to
• Identify the parts of the DDC and become familiar with the main classes, divisions and sections
• “Read” the patterns in existing DDC numbers and express the meaning of numbers in hierarchy
• Understand how DDC can be applied to make library collections browsable
• Assign appropriate DDC numbers to simple concepts
• Login to WebDewey and
o Navigate the hierarchy of the Main Schedules and Tables
o Search and browse for concepts that are in the Relative Index

Week 2 Learning Objectives At the end of Week 2 you will be able to
• Choose appropriate DDC numbers from the main schedules for subjects with multiple facets that may require a table of preference or consultation of the Manual
• Use Table 1 to add standard subdivisions with the correct number of zeroes
• Apply major patterns from the tables for geography and groups of people
• Apply the concept of “approximate the whole” and its exceptions

Week 3 Learning Objectives At the end of Week 3 you will be able to
• Do complex number-building with base numbers and pieces of other numbers
• Follow number-building instructions through multiple steps in the main schedules and tables
• Truncate DDC numbers correctly to preserve meaning • Make decisions about appropriate length of DDC numbers for different
collections within your library

Week 4 Learning Objectives At the end of Week 4 you will be able to
• Build synthetic numbers for specific languages in the 400 class using Tables 6 and 4
• Read the meaning of numbers in the 800 class that you find in library collections
• Build synthetic numbers for literature in the 800 class using Tables 3A, 3B, and 3C
• Use WebDewey’s new number-building tool to construct and save your built numbers


About Cheryl Boettcher Tarsala

author, researcher, educator in the realms of cataloging, bibliography, and authorship
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