Ask the ALA Library

Dewey or LC?

Q. Which is older, the Library of Congress Classification or Dewey? Which is more popular?

A. Quickly, Dewey is older and more popular, depending somewhat on the type of library. But let’s step back to the purposes of a classification system to understand a bit more about classification.

To “catalog” a book or other form of library material involves several interrelated processes which all contribute to the achievement of Charles Ammi Cutter’s “objects” for a catalog:

Historical Awards

Q. In a few weeks, one of our colleagues will retire. We know she has received several honors from the American Library Association. Is there any place we can research what they are?

A. We in the ALA Library—and in the divisions and offices, as well—have received this question, or similar ones, over the years. With ALA offering nearly 200 awards or other forms of recognition each year, some at the Association level, others by divisions or round tables, researching the question can be slow.

Recommended Listening and Audiobooks

Q. I got to explain to an older patron today that audiobooks can be downloaded! She last listened to an audiobook when they were still on cassette tapes.  Now that she knows, she would love to give her 13-year-old granddaughter something else to listen to on her tiny music player. I told her about the Odyssey Award. Does ALA have any lists of audiobooks for children?