Cataloguing allows us to organize our resources in a logical way, make them easy to find, and provide record of what we have. There are two aspects of cataloguing: descriptive cataloguing - recording basic details about a book or other source of information such as author's name, publishing information, date etc.; and subject cataloguing - analysing the content or determining what a book is about. For practical information on how to organize and describe books, refer to the Healthlink Worldwide Resource Center Manual, an ALADIN-recommended training manual.
This section of the Toolkit addresses the subject of cataloguing. You will find a basic ALADIN classification, which serves as a guideline on how you could organize information on the book shelves. Using a strict classification scheme ensures that books on the same subject stand next to each other. The next tool is a basic list of ALADIN subject categories and keywords. It consists of a list of major subject categories that may be represented in your collection. Your collection may not necessarily have resources in all these areas. Select those that are relevant to your own collection. Each of the subject categories includes also a list of keywords that further describe the content of your book. Each book should be assigned only ONE major category, but you can choose as many keywords as needed. For example, a book on family literacy that includes general articles, case studies, information about specific programmes and some statistics would be assigned to the LITERACY category and described by the following keywords: Family literacy; Case study; Literacy programmes; Literacy statistics. You should choose the most relevant keywords; remember that you are not limited to the keywords listed under the specific category - select an appropriate keyword from any place in the list - as long as they are relevant to your book. In our example, the book on family literacy may also include articles on health education so Health education should also be selected as a keyword.
How to classify material
Useful and practical information on how to organize your collection of materials can be found in the Healthlink Worldwide Resource Center Manual that we recommend. This section of the ALADIN Toolkit provides an outline of a simple ALADIN classification system that can be used in and adopted to specific needs of your centre. It provides means to organize and group together books on the same subject, however it addresses only areas related to adult education and learning. To organize books on general subjects such as Arts, Culture, Religion, Science etc. ALADIN recommends using the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC). You will find a basic DDC classification at the end of this chapter.
Basic ALADIN Classification
Adult Education and Learning: AEL
Civil Society: CSO
Community Development: CDE
Each of the main subject categories on the ALADIN list of subject terms include a corresponding three-letter code:
The ALADIN classification consists of letters and numbers representing main subject category, secondary subject, and author’s name.
The following example explains how a particular number should be built:
Let’s assume that a documentation centre has a fairly large collection of books on literacy. Since the books address different aspects of Literacy, the documentation centre decided to divide it further and provide their users with means of finding them together on the centre’s shelves. From the ALADIN list of terms 10 terms under literacy were selected as secondary subject categories. Selected items are in bold.
Second language literacy
Adult Literacy: 01
Family Literacy: 02
Literacy Centres: 03
Civil Society: CSO
Community Development: CDE
Each selected secondary subject term was assigned a number from 1-10 e.g.
LIT 01 Material on Adult Literacy
LIT 02 Material on Family Literacy
LIT 03 Material on Literacy Centres
These numbers were added to a three letter main subject category: Literacy = LIT
Finally, for further differentiation, the first three letters of an author’s surname or an organization were added, e.g. a book on Family literacy by John Brown would have the following classification number: LIT 02 BRO.
This system is flexible to allow adding more terms and corresponding numbers when needed – for example- if later on the documentation centre acquires 5 books on literacy and work, it can create another category, Workplace literacy.
This classification system does not provide a unique number i.e. it is possible that a documentation centre will have three books on adult literacy authored by UNESCO – therefore all three will have the same classification number. However, in small centres that should not be a problem.
Dewey Decimal Classification
The ALADIN classification is appropriate for books on a variety of subjects related to adult education and learning. To handle books on general subjects such as Arts, Culture, Religion, Science etc. ALADIN recommends using the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC). Please find below its basic divisions. For more information on DDC and how to use it in your collection consult the DDC homepage, where you can find a free 30-day trial of the WebDewey.
DEWEY DECIMAL CLASSIFICATION
000 Computer science, information and general works
100 Philosophy and psychology
300 Social sciences
700 Arts and recreation
900 History and geography