Public Librarianship: An Issues-Oriented Approach (Bibliographies and Indexes in World Literature)

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The classes used have mainly been recreational and popular fiction genres, e. The reason for using these genres is very clear — recreational genres are used in advertising, these books are often published in series and, they are usually written in the form of a certain genre which is targeted to certain readers — the rules of reading and writing generic fiction are very clear in recreational fiction. On the other hand, there are various and heterogenic sets of genre classifications especially for the printed stock and these are used in both libraries and bookstores.

Historically we can separate three different ways of developing a shelf classification of fiction. The oldest and most widely used system is to separate a few well-known genres from the rest of the fiction stock.

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Usually these genres are also the most popular for the users of the library for example, detective novels are considered as a distinct shelf class in nearly every public library Harrell , 14; Juntunen and Saarti , ; Jennings and Sear The second step in shelf classification is to separate popular fiction from the fiction stock and arrange it according to genres see e.

Alternative arrangement , Usually here, the most popular genres of fiction are shelved separately, e. For the definition of these genres, see Trott The third and the most challenging way is to try to classify the entire fiction stock. Two different approaches have been applied; in the first, the whole stock is divided into classes without any distinction made between recreational and serious fiction see e.

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Burgess ; Saarti In the other model, the fiction stock is initially divided into two main classes — recreational and serious fiction — and then those main classes are divided into subcategories see e. Spiller , The idea of dividing fiction to classes based on genres has also been utilised in the present commercial and library software used in the Internet.

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All the major Internet bookshops have developed their own genre-based classifications for fiction. The users can also create their own recommendation lists that are published. This type of social and statistical knowledge organization is also used in different types of so-called fan fiction sites Smith The major change here is that in a digital environment, the classification is not tied to physical shelves and thus the concept of having a multimodal classification can be realized, i.

This has also enhanced the integration between the indexing and classification of fiction see e. Pawlicki Subsequently, these started to expand and recently we have also seen systems operating at the national level.

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Based on these experiments, the subject heading lists and fiction thesauri have evolved in order to strive for unity of indexing and centralised cataloguing services Pulli In the Nordic countries, there is an on-going project, based on the ideas of the BookHouse concept. Its main objective is to enable the dissemination of the cataloguing data of fiction between the Nordic countries Pejtersen et al.

Based on this recommendation and on the page supplementary word list for the Library of Congress Subject Headings, a project was started in , when ten libraries began to index fiction. In addition, Olderr has devised a supplementary list of fiction subject headings which is broader than the LC thesaurus Young , ; see also Young and Mandelstam The first edition of Olderr's fiction subject headings was published in and as a thesaurus in It includes terms from six different categories: topics, genres, geographical settings, chronological settings, characters and treatment of the theme.

The latter are terms that describe more specifically the genre of the work Olderr , ix-xx. The American Library Association has also published rules for the subject headings which are intended to ease access to fiction. It is divided into two parts — systematic and alphabetical — with the former being arranged as a thesaurus. In the Nordic countries, several subject-heading lists have been developed based on the BookHouse concept see the Pejtersen section above, section 3 ; see also Eriksson The subject headings have a hierarchical and faceted structure: 1.

Genre, 2. Date, 3. Setting, 4. Subject, 5. Character and 6.

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American Libraries, 26 6 , — Also used synonymously with state to refer to the priority of copies within a first edition. It offers the bibliographies or reading lists on diverse topics relevant to the proposed or ongoing dissertation work, doctoral and post-doctoral research. North Moroccan. Click here to see an illuminated page from the Aldine Virgil and here to see a sample of modern italic.

In Finland, there have also been some experiments conducted on indexing fiction by Finnish librarians and Finnish book traders before the appearance of Finnish Thesaurus for Fiction. They all used the Finnish General Thesaurus but very soon it was appreciated that it lacked the appropriate terms for indexing fiction Pulli , Based on the experiences of these pilot projects, as well as those of the Finnish project based on the BookHouse concept, it soon became apparent that there was a need for a centralised indexing service for fiction.

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This service was needed because indexing of fiction is laborious; it lacks traditions and guidelines, for example, a subject heading list and furthermore there has been no decision about which thesaurus should be followed. The editing was started in the fall of , and in addition to deciding who would be the editor, an editorial board was appointed to oversee the project.

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The subject-heading list was soon changed into the form of a thesaurus in order to match it to the other thesauri published by the Helsinki University Library. The first version was then tested in Finnish public libraries, and finally the first edition of Kaunokki was released in in Swedish, Bella The principal problem in devising a subject-heading list for fiction was deciding on the structure under which the terms were to be collected and organised.

The editorial board of Kaunokki decided that the subject headings should be arranged in the form of a thesaurus and the organisation of the thesaurus should be made to follow the facets mentioned in the previous studies on the classification and indexing of fiction.

In addition, an alphabetical index of all the terms used was added to the end of the thesaurus. The facets used were as follows: Terms that describe fictional genres and their explanations.

Fictional literature classification and indexing

Terms that describe events, motives and themes. Terms that describe actors. Terms that describe settings. Terms that describe times. Terms that describe other, mostly technical and typographical aspects.

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Four of the above-mentioned facets — events, actors, spaces and times — have been mentioned in almost all the previous studies as the main categories being applied for fiction indexing. Thus, Beghtol drew the conclusion that: "Characters, Events, Spaces and Times may be taken as fundamental data categories for fiction" Beghtol a , In her system, Shatford made the decision to combine personality and matter facets into one group — actors, and then she referred with the energy facet to what these actors were doing. In Kaunokki, the solution was that terms that describe the genre of the fictional work were considered to correspond to the personality facet.

This seems logical because the genre or the kind of literature describes the personality of the work and in fact determines many of the events, spaces and times described in a novel see, e. The matter facet on the other hand corresponds to that of events and motives in Kaunokki and the energy facet to that of actors. By incorporating Ranganathan's Basic Subject Ranganathan , , one could also make a distinction between different types of fictional works. In the group "other", mainly terms that describe aspects outside the factual text of the work were included, because they are regularly asked by library users.

For example, these are the previously mentioned aspects included in Pejtersen's accessibility category Pejtersen and Austin , When collecting the terms for the thesaurus, it was obvious that the context where the thesaurus is used would play an important role in choosing the right terms and the appropriate depth of the terms being chosen. A concrete example of that was the subject headings for the indexing of juvenile literature. They were included in Kaunokki, although they could as well have been published in a separate special thesaurus.

Another problem was considering the environment where the thesaurus would be used. From the very onset, the decision was made that Kaunokki should be suitable for public libraries. For this reason, a great many of the terms that students of literature would consider important aspects of fictional works were omitted from the thesaurus. One solution for this problem would be to create a Thesaurus for Literary Research which is currently under preparation. There is already an example of this in Italy — Thesaurus di letteratura italiana Negrini and Zozi , see also Negrini and Adamo ; Aschero et al.

In the second edition of Kaunokki , this aspect was incorporated. Kaunokki was also developed in order to make it a thesaurus for the entire spectrum of fiction, i.

Branch et al. This because 1 of the multi-faceted nature of the fiction and 2 the active and broad culture of fan fiction. It seems that there is no structural coherence and consistency between different types of fiction databases, i. It is apparent that not only the indexing and classification but also the search and retrieval systems for fiction must become multi-faceted in order to meet the diverse needs of different users.

It consists of five main blocks databases that represent the different actors of the fictional communication system — works of art texts , their subject indexing and abstracts, history of their reception by readers, history of the writers and cultural history see e. Spiter and Pecoskie With the aid of this kind of system, one can document in a holistical manner the different aspects of the meaning of a work of fiction, i.

During the past three decades, we have seen a rapid growth in various types of information systems for works of fiction. As discussed earlier, the greatest challenge in the analysis of fictional content is its interpretational character. This means that a user-analysis is of the utmost importance when evaluating the pros and cons of any system. It seems that the commercial systems are incorporating more content elements and especially more user behaviour-based data into their systems.

This multi-faceted use of tools and different types of access points seem to be very useful when searching for fiction. The aesthetic point of view has also given new possibilities for fiction retrieval e. The third, and maybe the most rapidly evolving environment, are the different types of user-motivated information systems, e. One can conclude from the studies conducted on indexing and abstracting of fictional works that the effect of the interpretation of the work of art has a major impact on the content description of the work. This highlights the importance of these tools for librarians and patrons, they should not be so restrictive that they control the content as well as the vocabulary used in the indexing of fictional works.

Of course, the interpretational aspect of content description is a subject that requires clarification, not only for fictional works but also for scientific material. Additional studies will be needed in order to improve the indexing and classification of fiction. One important topic is the effect of the environment on indexing and whether the environment impacts on the use of indexes, which is also crucial for understanding the relationship between centralised and local indexing.

Furthermore, democratic indexing in different libraries — a model that enables the users to contribute to the indexing — requires more investigation. This could be one model through which we could incorporate the interpretations and opinions of different individuals into our information systems see Hidderley and Rafferty and investigations of the development in the search and retrieval systems of the Internet book-stores. In addition, cultural and functional aspects are important from both the scientific and practical viewpoints. The multicultural point of view is especially interesting with respect to fiction.

Centralised indexing services for fiction have been available in several countries for years, and their experiences can be a basis for assessing the benefits and drawbacks of a centralised service. There is much work to be done in developing better information systems for handling fiction.

In fact, at times it seems to be a never-ending task if one wishes to devise more sophisticated and more tailored indexing and classification systems e. The latest technological possibilities have created truly revolutionary tools for fictional retrieval. These have opened new perspectives for totally new types of indexing: e.

For libraries, this will also mean soul-searching i. Ewen Macdonald for linguistic advice. Aagaard, Harriet and Viktorsson, Elisabet. Adkins, Denice and Bossaller, Jenny E.