[PW] LC for the masses?

T. F. Mills phasco at earthlink.net
Mon Apr 5 03:18:44 PST 2021

All the LCC schedules are available free here:


When you say "the LC code," I assume you mean "an LC class number."  For a small library of a few hundred volumes, the upper level class (1-3 letters) should be sufficient(unless everything you have is narrowly focused in one area.)

A library classification needs to work for its intended clientele -- you.  The call number you find in CIP or Worldcat is merely a "suggestion," the one assigned by LC for its needs.  Many books can logically be shelved in two or more places.  Pick the best for you and your collection.  For example, does a book on Trumpism as a religious cult go in religion, politics, or US history?  You get to choose.  (You might find Worldcat scattering such books, and you might want to keep them together.)

I have several thousand volumes, and I use modified LCC.  There are bits of LCC that I don't like or find ambiguous / inadequate, so I make up my own.  For example, "AZD. Pseudo-history" and "AZQ. Pseudo-science" in order to shelve them next to the standard "AZ. Errors & Fallacies."  (Meanwhile logical fallacies stay in "BC. Logic," which is essentially the difference between theory and practice.)

I don't deface books with spine labels.  Rather, I make shelf labels (as in those examples, at least one per shelf.)  I also keep a simple acquisitions spreadsheet which doubles as an LCC locator (not to mention author catalogue, etc.) because I do forget where I have put things.  This whole system is also convenient for making changes whenever I change my mind about the most useful location for a book, or for breaking out a whole new section.

Good luck on your project.  Keep it simple. 

T.F. Mills

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