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John Searle Library has undertaken a reclassification of the Chinese Theological Collection belonging to Melbourne School of Theology. It was found that Pettee Classification did not support cataloging sufficiently due to not being updated in decades. Reclassification of the collection was necessary. This paper discusses the decision-making process and how the new classification scheme for the collection was chosen. It describes the implementation of the reclassification project and reviews the outcomes.
It was decided to reclassify the collection to Library of Congress Classification. This resulted in improving information retrieval, increasing collection discoverability and visibility, and reducing staff time devoted to cataloguing and reference service. An interactive online LCC training module was developed to educate users. As a result, users were engaged and empowered to discover the collection effectively.
In conclusion, classification is not merely for shelving and retrieving items. It is the foundation of knowledge organization and also a core business to support many aspects of library service. Information professionals should rethink and reposition classification and transform it into a value-added service for the library.
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