Organizing Books



Checklist of Procedures for Books  

The following outline of procedures indicates a suggested order to follow and indicate page numbers for the operations involved.


  1. Unpack books and check the invoice.
  2. Pull order slip and note source, date received, and cost of book.
  3. Open and collate books. This is done by placing the back of the book on a flat surface, separating a few pages at a time at the front and back of the book, pressing gently but firmly along the stitching, and repeating until the center of the book is reached.


    1. "Check carefully to see that all pages are bound in the right order and that no pages are missing."
    2. If an imperfect book is found, indicate this on the invoice and lay the book aside to return for replacement or credit.


  4. Sign and date invoice, sending the original for payment.
  5. Accession the book and stamp with ownership stamp.
  6. Determine the classification number. Place it on the title page and on the order slip, which is your copy for cataloging.
  7. Select subject headings and add to order slip.
  8. Print book pocket and book card.
  9. If bookplate is used, paste it in the center of the inside front cover. Select a bookplate which has room to type memorials.

    FIGURE 3: Bookplate Illustration


  10. Put the call number on spine of the book.
  11. Shelve the book placing it even with the edge of the shelf, and in order, first by number and then by author, as:

  12. Print catalog cards, including a shelf list card.
  13. File cards in the card catalog.
  14. File the shelf list card in the shelf list file, which is arranged by classification number, in the same order as the books appear on the shelf.
  15. Shelve book or other material according to its classification number.


The Accession Book
  1. Purpose


    1. The accession book provides a chronological listing of books added to the collection. With pertinent information about each, it provides an accurate record, which is easily interpreted by new personnel.
    2. Data on total holdings is available at a glance for the insurance record, as well as the number and price of books added in a given period.
    3. It provides each book with an identifying number and provides space to note loss or other disposition of book.
    4. Computer program can supply same information in a one-step approach.


  2. Use


    1. Numbered loose-leaf sheets and notebooks are available from library supply houses. Use separate pages and numbering for each type of material--books, tapes, etc.
    2. Information found in the accession book includes date added, author, brief title, publisher, copyright date, and price or gift information.
    3. No number is used twice. If a book is lost, notation should be made in the remarks column.
    4. In the book, the accession number and the ownership stamp are put on:


      1. The title page, just above the publisher's name
      2. On two key pages, such as pages 10 and 50. Ownership stamp on outside edges of book aids in identifying library books.


    5. The accession number also appears on the book card, the book pocket, and on the shelf list card.


Classification of Books

The classification and cataloging of books, with various entries and the intermingling of subject matter, is technical. However, church library arrangements may be kept simple and can be achieved by following a few basic rules.

  1. Sources of Bibliographic Information


    1. Title Page


      1. Title
      2. Author
      3. Publisher


    2. Back of title page - verso


      1. Copyright date
      2. ISBN (International Standard Book Number)
      3. Cataloging in Publication Data - CIP, supplied by Library of Congress


        1. Authoritative form of author's name
        2. Title and subtitle
        3. Publisher
        4. Library of Congress Control Number - LCCN
        5. LC assigned subject


  2. Methods of classification


    1. Recommended procedure is to give each book a number according to the Dewey Decimal classification system. This arrangement uses numbers to indicate subjects, thereby putting like books together on the shelves and providing an easy method of location and retrieval.
    2. Libraries grow at a faster pace than expected, and it is practical to begin with a recognized classification system.


  3. Dewey Decimal System


    1. This system calls for all books to fall in one of ten general subject categories.

      000 General400 Language700 Fine Arts
      100 Philosophy500 Science800 Literature
      200 Religion600 Applied Arts900 History
      300 Sociology  


    2. Each of these classes is subdivided first by tens decreasing to decimal points, keeping like books together on the shelves, as:

      200 Religion--General Works227 Epistles
      210 Religion--Natural Theology230 Christian beliefs, Doctrinal
      213 Creation240 Devotional
      214 Suffering250 Minister and his work
      215 Religion & Science252 Sermons
      220 Bible260 The Church
      220.2 Concordances264 Public Worship
      220.3 Bible Dictionaries266 Missions
      220.7 Commentaries on whole Bible268 Religious Education
      221 Old Testament270 Church history
      222.4 Samuel280 Denominations
      225 New Testament290 Other religions
      226.6 Acts of Apostles296 Judaism


    3. A book can have only one classification number, which determines that book's place on the shelf--even though it has material on several subjects. It can, however, have more than one subject card to aid users in finding material.
    4. A very brief basic list of classification numbers applicable to church libraries is given in the Organizational Aids section, Classification. However, if many books are to be processed, Dewey Decimal Classification and Relative Index, abridged edition, should be purchased. It is published by OCLC Forest Press.


  4. Definitions and procedures


    1. The call number of each book is composed of the classification number and author letter or letters. The call number for Young's Analytical Concordance, then might be

      220.2 (Dewey number for a Bible concordance)
      YO (First two letters of Young's name)

    2. Many books will have the same classification number and will arrange by author within the number.
    3. Instead of numbers, use the symbol "F" for fiction; "B" for biography; and "P" for picture books:

    4. The symbol "J" over the call number will distinguish children's books from adult ones. These should shelve separately, preferably on counter height shelves, nearer a child's eye level.
    5. A reference book is identified as one used for reference and not meant to be read through, like dictionaries and encyclopedias. No book cards are used for these, as they remain in the library. "REF" placed above the call number distinguishes the reference books from those which circulate.
    6. Before assigning a class number, skim the book to be sure of its content. Titles are often misleading. Tables of contents and chapter headings are good clues.
    7. If two subjects are discussed, use the number for the one about which more is given; or the first one; or assign a general number, which will include both subjects.
    8. Individual biography may be classified "B" or 921. However, instead of author letters, letters for the subject are used. This keeps biographies of the same person together on the shelf. A biography of David Lipscomb might be


  5. Placing the Call Number


    1. On the title page and on the spine of the book.
    2. On the book pocket and the book card.
    3. In the upper left-hand corner of catalog and shelf list cards.
    4. Writing the class number in pencil by the accession number in the accession book will double check completion and accuracy of work.


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Cataloging the Book
  1. The card catalog


    1. The card catalog is the file for public use. It is an alphabetical file of books listed by author, title, and subject.
    2. Cards which give the author, title, publisher, date, paging, and call number will make the book known to the users.
    3. The card catalog will look better if cards are done consistently, using the same spacing and form for each card.


  2. Card forms


    1. On each 3x5-order slip, add information needed for printing a complete set of catalog cards. Libraries use a unit card (all basically alike for each book) and type in titles and subjects.
    2. The main entry is the author card. Use the name as given on the title page. If the library has other books by the same author, check the catalog to see if the same form is used for the author's name.
    3. If the book has two authors, the first one is used.
    4. Usually four or more cards are provided for each title. One card files under the author's name, one files for the title of the book, and one or more for the major subject or subjects. One card is made for the shelf list.
    5. The shelf list is exactly like the author card except it includes purchasing and cataloging information. The latter are called tracings. The shelf list is a separate file and is arranged in the same order as the books on the shelves.


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  3. Subject headings


    1. Many people come to the library looking for a particular subject rather than for a specific book.
    2. Use the same wording for subject headings for books on the same subject. A uniform system often involves arbitrary decisions - INFANT BAPTISM or BAPTISM, INFANT, but not both.
    3. Assign subject headings and write catalog information at the same time class numbers are assigned.
    4. Use headings familiar to library users, and make cross references to guide users to the subjects used.
    5. Names of people may be used as subjects, too.
    6. Cross references direct the user from one subject heading to another. There are two kinds--See and See also. Figure 7.

    7. Be uniform with subject forms. Usually one or two are sufficient. Consider what people will be seeking.
    8. Sears' List of Subject Headings by Anzovin should be purchased if there are many books to be cataloged. The Bibliography in the Appendix is only a beginning list. Order information for the Anzovin book can also be found in the Appendix. Mark subjects used.
    9. Tracings on the shelf list card are necessary so that all cards may be removed from the catalog if the book is discarded.


  4. Suggestions for typing catalog cards


    1. Begin call number on 3rd typewriter line from top edge of card, and 2nd space from left edge of card.
    2. Begin author's name 4th line from top edge of card (one line below call number) and 8 spaces from left edge of card.
    3. Begin title and subject headings on 3rd line from top and at 2nd indention. (12 spaces from left edge of card.)
    4. If title or subject heading requires more than one line, begin second line 16 spaces from left edge of card.
    5. Capitalize proper names, derivations of proper names, names of organized bodies, the first word of the title, and the first word of the sentence.
    6. Computer programs will take care of the spacing.


  5. Filing rules


    1. Filing is alphabetical but the interspersing of various types of entries calls for a few ground rules.
    2. In brief, the rule is "nothing before something." The space between words is nothing, and arrangement follows word for word.
    3. When the same word is used for different headings, file cards in order by: 1. Person; 2. Place; 3. Subject; 4. Title.
    4. Abbreviations are filed as if spelled in full, and elisions as if one word.
    5. Arrange proper names beginning with M', Mc, St as if Mac, Saint.
    6. Disregard articles: a, an, the, as first word but consider them in other instances.
    7. In works by and about an author, file first the author as main entry followed by author as secondary entry, and third, works about an author, arranged secondarily by author of book.
    8. Cross references follow subject entries when in one heading.
    9. Arrange an initial before a word beginning with the same letter. AA comes before Aaron.
    10. Arrange numbers as if spelled out.


Book Cards and Pockets
  1. Print


    1. The call number, the accession number, the author, and the title are printed on the book card.
    2. Print the call number and accession number at the top of the book pocket if a long book pocket is used. If a short one is used, this information may be printed on the pocket or penciled in at the top of the book page. See Figure 8.
    3. If library supply pockets are not available, one may cut a slanting piece from durable paper. See Figure 9.


  2. Paste


    1. Paste the book pocket on the inside back cover of the book, even with the bottom of the page.
    2. The date due slip is tipped in on the opposite page.


  3. Place

    The call number, consisting of the classification number and the author letters, must be placed on the spine of the book for ease in shelving and locating the book.


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