Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Let's Hear It for BP605.W53!

When you visit a university library that uses Library of Congress call numbers, are you tired of finding books on Wicca in the BF's along with abnormal psychology?

(For example, my book Her Hidden Children is at BF1566 .C55 2006. At least The Paganism Reader made it into the BL's, the religion category.

But now, according to a professional librarian on one of the lists that I read, things are changing:

It took them long enough.... but not nearly as long as the change from Moving pictures to Motion pictures.

If anyone cares, here's what the official subject heading looks like, complete with cross reference and literary warrant:

053 0BP605.W53
150 Wicca
450 Wica
550 Neopaganism
550 Witchcraft

And there's now a specific LC classification number as well. Dewey number is 299.94.

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Anonymous qibitum said...

Huh. You prompted me to look up AfterBurn, which believe it or not I'd actually not done before. It's at NX510.N48.A34 2005, which is apparently arts & culture. Which makes sense, as about 1/2 the essays skew that direction, and only 2-3 deal with religion & ritual per se. I also wonder if they put it there because Brian Doherty's book on Burning Man lives next door, and his came out first? (and, hey! AfterBurn is currently checked out of the GTU library! Wow, someone is actually reading it!)

But oddly, my dissertation at GTU also lives in the NX zone, and its not really an art/culture/religion work. It's much more in the American popular religion & ritual studies genres. Makes me wonder if Doherty's book having been shelved in the NX zone means that anything else that gets published on BMan will wind up there? I hope not, as I don't think it's the best home for my next book (the revised diss, which is almost ready to go to my publisher for review). Can one's publisher lobby the LC to more favorably/accurately shelve one's books?

Oh, yeah. And I was *most* flattered to see AfterBurn in your stack of books a couple weeks ago. May I inquire: personal interest or possible Pom review?

12:15 PM  
Anonymous Trevortni said...

My guess is that the GTU classification is just an error on the person who did it (it was their best guess and they guessed wrong). When the first LC classing library purchases your book, they may class it properly. On a related note, the library community still has a long way to go in regard to Paganism. There was recently a debate on the capitalization of Paganism in a title (and, unfortunately, lower case won). That tells me that library professionals need to be a more active in educating our colleagues about Earth Religions and NRMs in general.

2:07 PM  
Anonymous vs-f said...

Just checked my local public library's online catalogue and found, to my dismay, only one book under that particular Dewey call number, John Michael Greer's book about Druidry.

Admittedly, this is a small community library--the Alameda Free Library--on the island of Alameda here in San Francisco's Bay Area--but still, only one book?????

1:55 PM  
Blogger Chas S. Clifton said...

I doubt that most libraries will re-catalog books retroactively.

3:06 PM  
Blogger Hecate said...

No fucking way am I re-doing my personal library which is done using LOC system. Once was enough.

4:23 PM  

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