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Reader-Interest Classifications: Local Classifications or Global Industry Interest?

The Organization of Knowledge

ISBN: 978-1-78714-532-0, eISBN: 978-1-78714-531-3

Publication date: 20 July 2017


This chapter reviews the historical tension between global and local interests in library classifications. More specifically, this chapter presents the concept and characteristics of the reader-interest classifications as they were reported in the literature of the past century, including its alleged advantages and detected shortcomings, in order to discuss their presence and consequences in current cases of reader-interest classifications such as BISAC. Following an implicit post-structuralist approach, issues such as the role of standardization and centralization in these projects, the focus and philosophy underlying the construction of these classifications, and the underlying global interests of the book industry are analyzed in order to determine the social consequences and viability of these local classifications. It is concluded that libraries that consider adopting a reader-interesting classification must really think of the interest of the users (in plural) and not only of the global book industry that dominates the development of the standards.



Martínez-Ávila, D. (2017), "Reader-Interest Classifications: Local Classifications or Global Industry Interest?", The Organization of Knowledge (Studies in Information, Vol. 12), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 51-69.



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