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BenU Library to Reclassify Collection from Dewey to LC

August 20, 2021

In Summer 2021, the Benedictine University Library began reclassifying its collection from Dewey Decimal Classification to Library of Congress (LC) Classification. The project, which involves assigning new call numbers to about 128,000 items, is expected to be completed by the end of 2024.

"Since most academic and research libraries use LC," explained Interim University Librarian Luann DeGreve, "this will align us with our peer institutions, making it easier for BenU students when they use other academic libraries."books

During the three-year transition period, the Library collection will include materials with Dewey call numbers and materials with LC call numbers at the same time. Dewey and LC materials will be kept on separate, clearly-labeled shelving units. If you can’t find an item on the shelf, please ask for assistance at the Circulation Desk.

Switching from Dewey to LC will allow the BenU Library to better prepare students for the libraries they will likely encounter in graduate school and beyond. Most academic and research libraries use LC. The system has many advantages:

  • While Dewey is divided into 10 classes, or broad subject areas, LC is divided into 21 main classes, allowing for more call numbers.
  • LC notation results in shorter class numbers than Dewey.
  • LC is expandable. New classes, subclasses, divisions, and topics can be added without extensive revision.
  • LC is the most continuously revised classification scheme. LC schedules are developed, revised, and maintained by subject experts. An editorial committee reviews new additions and changes proposed by catalogers.
  • LC is widely used among academic and research libraries and has the support of the resources of Library of Congress, ensuring its dependability and future.

Visit our Library of Congress Classification Guide to see examples of LC call numbers and to learn more about the system.

If you have questions about the BenU Library's Dewey-to-LC Reclassification Project, please contact Interim University Librarian Luann DeGreve at ldegreve@ben.edu.

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