Open source library classification (or: eff Dewey)

(My apologies to the hundres on drinking_GSLIS who also read my blog.)

So, as you know, I work at LibraryThing now, and Tim (ye olde founder) just declared war on the Dewey Decimal System at the American Library Association conference last week.

Anyway, the point is, he’d like to start an open source classification system. That means instead of the Dewey System that public libraries tend to use (and you have to pay for, and is antiquated), we build a new one, based on everyone’s expertise – think hot wiki action.) Now, will this work? (My paycheck tells me ‘yes’.) Is it possible to get consensus? Is it possible to get enough crowdsourcing? Will it be discovered that everyone lurves Dewey and there’s no need for change, and we like paying for DDC access? Probably not that.

Having spent a goodly amount of time as a grad student thinking about things just like this, I’m totally enamored with this as an idea. (Also I get to spend work time thinking about it.)

His blog post outlining the idea.

The LibraryThing group that has started in on it.

Any questions or thoughts not meant for the group? You can email me at my work email
– sonya at

If this post is completely uninteresting, watch this instead.

Gork gork gork, says Keem.

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