On June 12–13, Meeting 140 of the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) Editorial Policy Committee (EPC) was held at the Library of Congress (LC) in Washington, DC. When we meet at LC, Dewey classifiers at the Library have the opportunity to attend and to observe EPC deliberations. But this year’s meeting was also marked by the number of persons we usually expect to see, but who were unable to attend, which included EPC members Gert de Jager and Paula van Strien, OCLC Research Scientist Diane Vizine-Goetz, and Karl E. Debus-López, Chief of the U.S. Programs, Law, and Literature Division in which the CIP and Dewey Section at the Library of Congress resides. And while on the subject of who was there and who wasn’t, we note with regret that this was the last face-to-face EPC meeting for Andrea Kappler, who will be completing 12 years of service on EPC at the end of this year. Thank you, Andrea!
The EPC Regulations for the Conduct of Committee Business (a.k.a. the bylaws) have been updated; the biggest change is that the bylaws now call for EPC to include a representative from the European Dewey Users Group (EDUG). (Update: Elise Conradi, Dewey Project Manager at the National Library of Norway, was elected to represent EDUG on EPC, beginning in January 2018.) In other business, Michele Zwierski was elected as EPC Vice-Chair for 2018–19.
We are making a change in our terminology to distinguish between the provision and elimination of numbers, on the one hand, and the movement of topics between numbers, on the other hand. Going forward, we will use "authorization" for the approval of a new number and "deprecation" for the withdrawal of approval from an existing number. When speaking of the movement of topics, we will use "relocation" and "discontinuation" in their current senses, but will introduce a new term, "continuation." Thus, we will use "discontinuation" and "continuation" for the movement of topics to a new location in the upward or downward hierarchy, respectively, of the old location, and will use "relocation" for the movement of topics that end up outside the hierarchy of the old location. This change in terminology will go into effect as we enter approved changes from EPC 140. We will soon be posting relevant changes to the Glossary and Introduction.
The main business of EPC is the review of proposals for changes to the tables and schedules of the DDC. EPC 140 exhibits included proposals that will result in the following:
- T1—0286 Green technology (Environmental technology) can appropriately be used for sustainability if the focus is on technology. Many works about sustainability, however, emphasize social aspects; 304.2 Human ecology Is being designated as the interdisciplinary number for sustainability.
- Revisions under 323.3 Civil and political rights of other social groups and 649.1 Child rearing will be done as a part of a continuing project to regularize use of T1—08 Groups of people.
- To match geographic reality, both Gaza Strip and West Bank are being relocated to subdivisions of T2—5694 Palestine; Israel.
- Subdivisions are being authorized under T6—965 Nilo-Saharan languages, the last major group of African languages not previously subdivided in DDC. Since subdivisions of T5—965 Peoples who speak, or whose ancestors spoke, Nilo-Saharan languages are defined by instructions to add notation from T6—965 Nilo-Saharan languages, the development in Table 6 will be mirrored in Table 5.
- Within 004–006 Computer science, clarifying notes are being added to several classes under 005.7. Literary warrant justifies expansions for a variety of topics under 004.6 and under 006.3.
- Several subdivisions of 158.1 Personal improvement and analysis (all methods of personal improvement) were approved.
- A vague caption, U.S.-centric bias, and a desire to eliminate an anomaly in how controversies on a topic are treated motivated a proposal to remove the development at 363.4 Controversies related to public morals and customs. Most of the topics have interdisciplinary numbers elsewhere, but relocations are required for topics where the number for interdisciplinary works have been at 363.4 numbers.
- EPC approved an expansion under 364.67 Corporal punishment for torture, along with provisions for the topic in other disciplines, such as military intelligence and police services.
- A new span is being developed at 613.71481-613.71486 for fitness exercises derived from specific combat sports, with an add instruction for the specific sport.
- Because the number-building engine cannot interpret instructions under 930-990:01-09 to add appropriate historical period numbers, entries for localities of many countries will be added, each with an internal add table specifying where the appropriate historical period numbers are found. These developments also permit simplifying the add instructions under 324.91–324.99 and 330.93–330.99 so they can take advantage of the new entries.
- Provision is being made for early history time periods (the Hallstatt and La Tène periods) for countries in central and western Europe.
The implementation of these changes in WebDewey will generally be accompanied by blog posts. Keep your eyes open!
Other EPC exhibits take the form of discussion papers; rather than requesting EPC approval for specific changes, such exhibits explore options for future proposals. EPC 140 included discussion papers on the following topics:
- Adopting a narrower sense of "computer programming" and then replacing the current distinction at 005.1 and 005.3 between programming and programs with a distinction between software development and software.
- Developing a notation to accompany the optional alternative arrangement in the 200s; this notation would be in a one-to-one relationship with the notation of the standard arrangement.
- Providing Table 2 notation for indigenous nations by adding Table 5 notation for the indigenous people to Table 2 notation for the continent plus T1—04. Other features explored in the discussion paper are options under both (a) 305.81–305.89 Specific ethnic and national groups and (b) 930–990:00404 Indigenous nations to add notation 001–999, so that all literature about a specific indigenous group can be collocated.