I was in my school’s library last week, paging through the Abridged Dewey Decimal Classification and Relative Index, Edition 14 and found that bikes have their place in the Dewey Decimal system:
700 The Arts Fine and decorative arts
790 Recreational and performance arts
796 Athletic and outdoor sports and games
.6 cycling and related vehicles (use of wheeled vehicles not driven by motor or animal power)
.63 Mountain biking (all-terrain cycling)
But no place for other specific bike types. No 796.6-something for folding bikes, or tall bikes, or race bikes, or cargo bikes. What about Mountain Bikes created a need for a new number?
I contacted Kris, a Senior Support Analyst for the OCLC, and was told that my query into adding further bike categories was sent to the “Dewey Editors … [and] they will review the request and make the determination whether to add this classification.” Kris went on to state that feedback helps to improve their classification system, and while the change may take a great deal of time, they do take seriously every effort to include new categorizable book subjects.
What would warrant a new category?
There are two reasons to create a category, term, or concept name: (a) the need to organize what is already there, and (b) a place to put what will be increased in the future. In the first reason (a), an analogy would be the jams I have in my pantry. I have a number of jams and they are organized by type because there are so many, a system was needed to put different flavors in different areas. In the second reason (b), the pantry analogy can also be used. I will can vegetables this next summer so I will create a shelf for these vegetable-specific jars even though the jars do not yet exist.