Classification Scheme

It is necessary to arrange books in a Library based on the subject/ theme of the book so that the books on a particular genre/ subject are grouped and placed on shelves for easy retrieval. This is why users get books on a particular subject on one specific place in the Library. So this requires classifying the books with a specific code/ scheme. A standard library uses a specific classification scheme to classify books to enable easily retrieval through a classification number.

So in our Library, we follow Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) scheme (23rd ed.) and this classification scheme is used for categorising books, with a standard number, on the basis of its subject.

It’s a system of arrangement adopted by a library to enable patrons to find its materials quickly and easily. (Britannica).

Every library has thousands of books that need to be arranged according to subjects; but, subjects of different books are different, so a need was felt to have a scheme which can arrange all the subjects according to their likeness .The similar subjects can be placed nearer and subjects only marginally related can be kept thereafter and such subjects which are not at all related can be kept at different location. Such a scheme, which arranges subjects of books on the basis of their likeness, is called a library classification scheme (NIOS).

The library classification schemes help in classifying a book, or in other words ,help in identifying the exact position of a subject among thousands of subjects (NIOS).

A very easy and generic example for students:

If you see a book having 330 as its classification number, this means the book belongs to ‘economics’. If it is 330′.954, the book is on ‘Indian economy’. Similarly a book having 685.45 belongs to ‘human resource management’.

  • So, in our Library, we follow Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) scheme (23rd ed.) which is widely accepted by libraries across the globe for classifying the books.
  • Each entry of the book in our Library catalogue carries the (DDC) classification number (like 330, 330’954, 658.45) which may be noted by the user and then traced by the book/s by the said classification number.

FYI: DDC Scheme for the easy understanding:

Broad Numbers of DDC

000 Generalities
100 Philosophy and psychology
200 Religion
300 Social sciences
400 Language
500 Natural sciences and mathematics
600 Technology (Applied sciences)
700 The arts
800 Literature and rhetoric
900 Geography and history

Examples of a broad number i.e. 500 Natural sciences and mathematics

510 Mathematics
520 Astronomy
530 Physics
540 Chemistry
550 Earth sciences & geology
560 Fossils & prehistoric life
570 Life sciences; biology
580 Plants (Botany)
590 Animals (Zoology)

Further depth classification numbers of 500 Natural sciences and mathematics

500 Natural sciences and mathematics
501 Philosophy and theory
502 Miscellany
503 Dictionaries and encyclopedias
504 Not assigned or no longer used
505 Serial publications
506 Organizations and management
507 Education, research, related topics
508 Natural history
509 Historical, areas, persons treatment
510 Mathematics
511 General principles
512 Algebra and number theory
513 Arithmetic
514 Topology
515 Analysis
516 Geometry
517 Not assigned or no longer used
518 Not assigned or no longer used
519 Probabilities and applied mathematics
520 Astronomy and allied sciences
521 Celestial mechanics
522 Techniques, equipment, materials
523 Specific celestial bodies and phenomena
524 Not assigned or no longer used
525 Earth (Astronomical geography)
526 Mathematical geography
527 Celestial navigation
528 Ephemerides
529 Chronology
530 Physics
531 Classical mechanics Solid mechanics
532 Fluid mechanics Liquid mechanics
533 Gas mechanics
534 Sound and related vibrations
535 Light and paraphotic phenomena
536 Heat
537 Electricity and electronics
538 Magnetism
539 Modern physics
540 Chemistry and allied sciences
541 Physical and theoretical chemistry
542 Techniques, equipment, materials
543 Analytical chemistry
544 Qualitative analysis
545 Quantitative analysis
546 Inorganic chemistry
547 Organic chemistry
548 Crystallography
549 Mineralogy
550 Earth sciences
551 Geology, hydrology, meteorology
552 Petrology
553 Economic geology
554 Earth sciences of Europe
555 Earth sciences of Asia
556 Earth sciences of Africa
557 Earth sciences of North America
558 Earth sciences of South America
559 Earth sciences of other areas
560 Paleontology Paleozoology
561 Paleobotany
562 Fossil invertebrates
563 Fossil primitive phyla
564 Fossil Mollusca & Molluscoidea
565 Other fossil invertebrates
566 Fossil Vertebrata (Fossil Craniata)
567 Fossil cold-blooded vertebrates
568 Fossil Aves (Fossil birds)
569 Fossil Mammalia
570 Life sciences
571 Not assigned or no longer used
572 Biochemistry
573 Physical anthropology
574 Biology
575 Evolution and genetics
576 Microbiology
577 General nature of life
578 Microscopy in biology
579 Collection and preservation
580 Botanical sciences
581 Botany
582 Spermatophyta (Seed-bearing plants)
583 Dicotyledones
584 Monocotyledones
585 Gymnospermae (Pinophyta)
586 Cryptogamia (Seedless plants)
587 Pteridophyta (Vascular cryptograms)
588 Bryophyta
589 Thallobionta and Prokaryotae
590 Zoological sciences
591 Zoology
592 Invertebrates
593 Protozoa, Echinodermata, related phyla
594 Mollusca and Molluscoidea
595 Other invertebrates
596 Vertebrata (Craniata, Vertebrates)
597 Cold-blooded vertebrates Fishes
598 Aves (Birds)
599 Mammalia (Mammals)

Similarly, to know the classification number of other subjects/ broad numbers (000, 100, 200, etc.), please visit: one, two, three