NEED AND PURPOSE OF LIBRARY CLASSIFICATION:
Library classification invariably requires written has of damps and their subdivisions arranged in a systematic way along with corresponding symbols denoting classes.
As a participant in this course you are either a library worker or wish to be one. You are aware that libraries keep various types of documents. At the outset, it is necessary to know that libraries hold several types of collections like printed books, journals, manuscripts, maps, charts, micro-documents, CD-ROMs, video and audio cassettes,. etc. All these collections should necessarily be arranged systematically.
There are three possible ways in which a reader may demand library material. He may ask by the name of the author whose works he wishes to read, or by the title of the book. The third situation is that he may need book(s) on a particular subject. This last one is known as subject approach. In short, subject approach is the means of securing unknown items from the collection, and classification is the means of facilitating it. Library classification yields subject-wise arrangement of library materials in which documents are arranged by subject and each subject is followed by another subject related to it, e.g., physics following mathematics. This is known as systematic arrangement. The other important activities in a library such as book selection , circulation and reference services are somewhat indirectly dependent upon library classification.
It is thus no wonder that classification is widely regarded as the foundation of librarianship. Classification can ensure full exploitation of library material and strengthen other services in a library. .The need for classification is all the greater in modern libraries, as they store different types of documents requiring diverse storage media. In other words, documents on the same subject(s) get scattered throughout the collection because of their diverse physical forms. Classification, however, is the means of bringing books on the shelves and their entries in a catalogue or index at one place. Let us, therefore, acquaint ourselves with these different types of documents that modern libraries acquire and store.