Anna Murphy, Response #6

While I admire Ranganathan’s warm and fuzzy treatment of knowledge, I found his faceted system to be a bit unwieldy. The example shown by Tunkelang shows us the breakdown of colon classification’s ability to get very very very specific. With all of these ways PMEST can turn out, it’s hard to imagine how this might look on a physical shelf. It seems general subject books could end up far from their counterparts, for example, a book on the mouth and a book on the tongue could be so far apart with all the minutiae in between. I imagine this system would work well in very specialized libraries for users who know what they need in all the PMEST categories, but for libraries that serve the general public, finding a general subject book would be daunting just glancing at those lengthy call numbers. Colon classification seems, with all it’s detail and searchable terms, more like a record system, rather than a classification/retrieval system.

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