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Because of present information explosion and doubling of human knowledge—over 150,000 new books are published each year in United States alone—how can you then benefit from what United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization termed “local gateway to knowledge”? It is by knowing how to locate book that you need in a library.
You could probably get around your local library, but it is another ball game when you find yourself in a state-of-the-art library with its intimidating volumes and complex book search procedures. Don’t panic! The librarian is available for help. But know that you basically need one or both of following:
The Card Catalog
There are three separate cards for book you are looking for in library—the author card, title card, and subject card—all bearing information about book. The most important thing about card is its “call number”—at top left hand corner—with which you will locate book. But how do you know right number?
Since many libraries use Dewey Decimal System—invented by Melvil Dewey, a famous American librarian—the answer is in knowing right Dewey decimal code for your source material. Here are major groups of system:
000-099 General 100-199 Philosophy and psychology 200-229 Religion 300-399 Social sciences 400-499 Language 500-599 Natural sciences and mathematics 600-699 Technology (applied sciences) 700-799 The arts 800-899 Literature and rhetoric 900-999 Geography and history
This is further divided into ten subgroups with specific subjects. For instance Bible is 200, and “New Testament” or Greek Scriptures is 225. The following added digits are for book category:
01 Philosophy and theory 02 Miscellany 03 Dictionaries, encyclopedias, concordances 04 Special topics 05 Serial publications 06 Organizations and management 07 Education, research, related topics 08 Collections 09 History of
If you therefore wanted an encyclopedia about Bible, number you would be looking for is 220.3, while number 225.7 would serve your need if you were searching for a commentary on “New Testament.”
Which number would you need if you wanted history of William Shakespeare?
Should you visit Library of Congress; following classification will help you find right number:
A General Works B Philosophy, Psychology, Religion C-D History and Topography E-F America G Geography, Anthropology, Sports and Games H Social Sciences J Political Science K Law L Education M Music N Fine Arts P Language and Literature Q Science R Medicine S Agriculture, Forestry T Engineering and Technology U Military Science V Naval Science Z Bibliography
If you were unable to find what you needed in a library, chances are that you might find it by checking book catalog. For instance, with National Union Catalog, you can find books in Library of Congress and elsewhere.
Learning to narrow your search will keep you from going from one library to other. For example, Best-seller is not same thing as, How to Write a Best-seller.
You can visit above mentioned libraries and others here:
The Library of Congress http://www.loc.gov
The British Library http://www.bl.uk
Russian State Library http://www.rsl.ru/defengl.asp
National Library of France www.bnf.fr
Libraries of World http://www.ifla.org/II/natlibs.htm http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/Libweb
You are now an established writer, having published a best-seller and taken advantage of above provisions. What next?
(Excerpted from HOW TO WRITE A BEST-SELLER by Arthur Zulu, coming soon!)
ARTHUR ZULU is an editor, book reviewer, playwright, and published author. He also writes short stories, scripts, essays, and poems, and ghost writes for others. For his works, professional services, and FREE helps for writers, goto: http://controversialwriter.tripod.com mailto: firstname.lastname@example.org Web search: Arthur Zulu
ARTHUR ZULU is an editor, book reviewer, playwright, and published author. He also writes short stories, scripts, essays, and poems, and ghost writes for others.