Interested in Cataloguing Electronic and Internet Resources?

23Dec2009 at 7:10 pm (General) (, , , , )

I’ll be teaching Cataloguing Electronic and Internet Resources (LIBR10003) again this Winter session. This is an optional course that’s part of the Library & Information Technician distance education stream at Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ontario.

If you’re interested follow this link for more information about the Mohawk distance ed programs.

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KF Modified Origins: Legal Classification by Subject (2)

13Dec2009 at 6:58 pm (History) (, )

Some subject areas required a treatment different from that provided in the original KF draft and so some larger ‘modifications’ were made to the schedule to allow for a clearer expression of these subjects for all the common law jurisdictions. One of these areas was the classification of constitutional law.

American constitutional law is classified in KF at KF4501-KF5130 and these numbers are still used for U.S. constitutional law in KF Modified today. A new area for constitutional law in Canada was established at KF4481-KF4483 to accomodate the different characteristics of the Canadian and other jurisdicitions more closely influenced by English law.

Consitutional law for Canada is broken down into three broad areas: KF4481 for documents, sources, etc.; KF4482 for general works about constitutional law; and KF4483 for specific areas, for example civil and political rights or immigration and emigration. With the Canadian framework in place three additional class ranges where created that use this same structure for the jurisdictions of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (KF4485-4487), Australia (KF4488-4490) and New Zealand (KF4492-4494).

These three classification ranges are known as ‘class like’ ranges because each of these jurisdictions will be classed just like the KF4481-KF4483 range. For example, documents and sources for New Zealand will be found in KF4492 (the first number in the New Zealand range) and immigration law in Northern Ireland would fall in KF4487.I5 (the third number for Northern Ireland dealing with that specific topic and using I5 the subject cutter for immigration). The remaining common law jurisdictions are classed under the single number KF4496. Each of these smaller jurisdictions has their own country cutter code which is applied to KF4496. For example, Ghana (KF4496.G4) or South Africa (KF4496.S6).

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Quick Thanks to All

4Dec2009 at 12:55 pm (General)

Thanks to everyone for their support after I announced the ‘official’ launch of this blog. A very nice welcome to the blawgosphere indeed. 🙂

And special graditude to Steve Mathews who gave me a shout out on the Vancouver Law Librarian Blog and included me on his list of new Canadian law blogs on yesterday’s post to Slaw.

I really liked his comment in the Slaw post:

Tim’s putting the ‘Canadian‘ back in our law blogs list. Because there’s beer, back bacon, Lorne Greene, and KF Modified. Not necessarily in that order.

And although a product of Canadian law librarianship I’m hoping I can demonstrate here that KF Modifed is a suitable classification system for any common law library and not just Canadian law libraries. 🙂

Thanks again!

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KF Modified Origins: Legal Classification by Subject (1)

2Dec2009 at 2:08 pm (History) (, , )

The Group of 5 decided to use the draft of the Library of Congress’s KF Classification for American federal law as the model to classify all common law jurisdictions. They preferred an arrangement that kept resources together in the common law subject areas. As Judy Ginsberg pointed out, this arrangement was “preferable, given the way the library is used in Canadian law schools.”[1] In other words, this decision reflected and supported the practice already at work in Canadian law libraries at the time. And this approach would also end up being the least disruptive when it came time to apply the classification to the existing collections in Canadian law libraries.

In addition to this basic philosophy of grouping resources by subject it was felt that some modifications were necessary to help control certain areas of a library’s collection. The primary modification made in the KF schedule was the addition of ‘Geographic Divisions’, also know as ‘G.D.s’, in selected subject areas. Generally speaking these G.D.s were used where the recognition of separate jurisdictions might be desirable (e.g. particular courts) or where the amount of published materials was expected to be extensive and a further subdivision was seen as a useful tool to refine the arrangement of things on the shelf (e.g. criminal law).

Each jurisdiction has been assigned its own G.D. cutter beginning with ‘Z’. So for example, Canada is ZA2, Ontario ZB3, Australia ZD2, etc. These G.D.s follow the main class number and will bring all of the materials together under the same G.D. For example, criminal law in Canada would be found at KF9220.ZA2 and in Australia at KF9220.ZD2.

You’ll find that most of the subject areas don’t use the G.D. and in these areas you will end up with the normal author/title ordering on the shelves. However, many smaller libraries, collecting mainly common law materials, have been known to apply the GD to subjects throughout the classification scheme. Nothing wrong with that as long as this suits the needs of your particular user group and a consistent policy is in place.

Responding in part to this practice and to requests from the KF Modified community the editorial committee introduced a number of optional G.D.s in 2005. This allowed an ‘official’ use of G.D.s in some additional areas, e.g. mining, copyright, patent law, trademarks, education and national defense/military law.

I’ll take a closer look at the application of G.D.s in some future posts.

[1] Ginsberg, Judy. “A Note on the KF Classification Modified for Use in Canadian Law Libraries” in Law Libraries in Canada (1988), p. 159.

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