Spines and Silos: On the Dewey Decimal Classification

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An analysis of the Dewey Decimal Classification system (DDC) created for LIBR 509 with Dr. Julia Bullard in the MLIS core.

A short analysis on the Dewey Decimal Classification system (DDC) written in about 3 hours on Google Docs. This analysis focused on a description of how the DDC used and updated, with a small section on its limitations with regards to the physicality of different books. It also criticizes "the [hierarchical] structure of the DDC [for having] a very siloed interpretation of knowledge and its dissemination."

I did not submit this assignment in time for the peer review swap, and did not receive feedback from the instructing team for this assignment. If I were to revise this assignment, however, I would do more editing for clarity between paragraphs, as the analysis at-present reads very much as a tick-the-box approach to the assignment requirements. I would also have liked to incorporate more scholarly literature in my analysis, especially from the field of critical cataloguing.

iSchool Graduate Competencies

Below is a self-identified list of competencies that this activity engages as it aligns with the iSchool MLIS Graduate Competencies:

5. Reflect in an informed and critical manner on information infrastructures and practices, acknowledging the role of power and privilege, the ongoing influence of colonization, and the value of diverse worldviews

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Learning Significance

  1. What I learned most from this activity was not the content related to the DDC or classification structures, but the pedagogical value of peer review and general feedback. Compared to the other assignments done in this course, this assignment left me with the least idea of how I was understanding course material in general and relative to my peers. Not having peer review did ease the weekly burden I had to complete other assignments, but at the cost of my longer term learning and retention of the material.