New Dewey Decimal Classification system editor-in-residence focused on equity


Kelly West recently joined OCLC as the first visiting editor-in-residence for the Dewey Decimal Classification® (DDC®) system. In this inaugural six-month role, West will contribute her expertise to reduce systematic bias embedded in the DDC.

The new DDC editor-in-residence program offers early and mid-career librarians or others from allied fields the opportunity to collaborate closely with the DDC’s editor, Alex Kyrios, and the Editorial Policy Committee. Extending and maintaining the DDC requires deep knowledge and understanding of the structure of the classification scheme. In addition, placing every topic in an effective position within the scheme requires deep understanding of the topic. The DDC community worldwide will benefit from sustained engagement with a subject-matter expert to address a problematic portion of the DDC.

West is currently earning an MLIS from Louisiana State University. She serves as a 2020 – 2022 Kaleidoscope Program Diversity Scholar with the Association of Research Libraries as well as a 2021 – 2022 Spectrum Scholar with the American Library Association. Her professional interests include educating others through the preservation of Black cultural history, archival research, community outreach, and library advocacy.

OCLC continues to work toward improving diversity, inclusion, and equity throughout the library community. The DDC offers many opportunities for improving subject heading labels and the classification structure to empower underrepresented voices across a multicultural community. This editor-in-residence program is one step in a long journey to address past wrongs.

The DDC editorial team is always open to ideas from the library community to make the DDC truly reflective of libraries’ collections and evolving needs. To participate in these conversations or share a proposal, learn more about being a Dewey contributor.



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