Portfolio Mini-Project 3
Considering the Role of Classification in Providing Access to Information
While much classification attention in the form of classification numbers and subject headings has been given to non-fiction materials, the story is different for fiction. In libraries items of fiction are often placed on the shelves in order by author and sometimes broken into a handful of broad categories (e.g., sci-fi, western, mystery). Book stores tend to be more generous in their breakout of fiction materials into categories, but the categories are still broadly defined, and usually unidimensional.
One of the reasons for this situation is I believe the problem, particularly in libraries, of shelving items so that each item has an established place on the shelves. In a world of electronic access to information, fiction seems to be a step-child.
Assuming that you have some recollection from some time in the dim past when you had time to read for pleasure even if that isn't the case at the moment, I would like you to consider how you might develop a classification system to support electronic access to fiction.
Plan to spend some time during Session #16 (10/28/96) to discuss your thinking.
For Your Portfolio:
After the class discussion, write a brief summary of your insights and reactions to the Fiction classification problem.