As we occasionally mention, the Dewey editorial office is housed in a unit of the Library of Congress responsible for assigning Dewey numbers to large numbers of titles processed by the library. This past month the Dewey and Cataloging in Publication (CIP) sections of the library merged. We quote here from a statement released by Karl Debus-López, chief of the U.S. Programs, Law, and Literature Division, and Caroline Saccucci, head of the newly merged CIP and Dewey Section, regarding the merger:
Cataloging in Publication and Dewey Sections Merge to Facilitate Greater Collaboration
The Cataloging in Publication (CIP) and Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) sections of the Library of Congress have merged their operations effective February 7, 2016. This merger will foster greater collaboration between the CIP and Dewey programs as they work together to prepare descriptive and subject metadata for close to 50,000 electronic title galleys received from over 5,300 U.S. publishers, annually at the Library. Through the merger, the two programs will be able to leverage their strengths in support of each other and be better able to create innovative products and services for their clienteles.
The Dewey Decimal Classification system was created in 1876 by Melvil Dewey and remains the predominant classification system for the nation’s public and school libraries. It is also the principal classification system used by libraries outside of the United States in all sectors of librarianship. The Dewey Decimal Classification has been revised and expanded over 23 published editions, incorporating new subjects and concepts with each iteration of the classification. The Cataloging in Publication Program was implemented at the Library of Congress in 1971. Publishers send electronic galleys of their titles prior to their publication for Library catalogers to create metadata in exchange for a copy of the book after it is published. When the book is published, the publisher includes the CIP data on the copyright page thereby facilitating book processing for libraries and book dealers. The CIP data is the principal source of metadata used by libraries nationwide for their own catalog records. Close to 1.8 million titles have received CIP data from the Library of Congress over the last 45 years.
This merger is a logical extension of a greater collaboration that has occurred between the CIP and Dewey programs since 2013 when they were moved into the same division at the Library. Both of these programs serve the nation’s libraries, with a special emphasis on public and school libraries, which are more likely to arrange their collections according to the Dewey Decimal Classification system. The relationship between LC and Dewey is now 86 years old and goes back to 1930 when the Library of Congress began to print DDC numbers on many of its cards, thus making the system immediately available to the nation’s libraries. When the CIP Program began, it recognized that a very large constituency would be best served if every CIP record contained a Dewey number, and this partnership continues today. Most of the DDC assignment done by professional classifiers is generated by Electronic Cataloging in Publication (ECIP) title galleys received through the CIP Program. Furthermore, the Dewey Program maintains an editorial office through a cooperative arrangement with OCLC, Inc. so that classifiers can consult the editors on new and emerging literature, much of which is generated via the CIP Program, and discuss the best way to classify this material.
There are other ways that the CIP and Dewey program staff members have overlapping responsibilities. Dewey classifiers assign Library of Congress Classification to ECIPs cataloged by the National Library of Medicine and have been developing correlation tools to allow for automatic assignment of DDC from Library of Congress Classification. CIP Program Specialist librarians are also being trained on DDC assignment. Dewey classifiers have served as reviewers or points-of-contact for questions from ECIP Cataloging Partnership Program institutions, which arrange their collections according to Dewey. While the distinct identities of the two programs will remain, each will provide support for the other resulting in what Library management believes will be a very successful merger.