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Library of Congress Classification Conversion Project

University Libraries has begun a project to convert from using the Dewey Decimal Classification System to the Library of Congress Classification System for most of our collections.

With West Chester University earning R2 Research Classification status in 2022, moving to Library of Congress (LC) Classification will strengthen the accessibility and discoverability of the libraries’ collections that support the university’s research activities. Classification systems determine how books are arranged on the shelf and is what creates the call number which can be found on the spine of the book. Some benefits of LC Classification and the impact on student success and faculty research include:

  • You will more easily discover and browse resources on related subjects and disciplines because they will be united and shelved together.
  • Call numbers are less complex and more meaningful, making things easier to find.
  • Improved classification of emerging fields helps keep the collection current.
  • 81% of academic libraries and almost all major research libraries use LC classification. By becoming familiar with it here, you will be able to use it at most university libraries.

Project Timeline

Phase Status Details
Phase I in progress
  • Complete Inventory (complete)
  • Develop preservation and retention policy (in progress)
  • Define parameters of collection evaluation (in progress)
  • Develop communication plan (complete)
Phase II in progress
  • Collection evaluation (in progress)
  • Staff training (in progress)
  • Develop reclassification process (in progress)
  • Obtain processing materials (in progress)
  • Location code review (in progress)
  • Implement communication plan (in progress)
Phase III not started
  • Reclassification processing (projected to begin July 2024)
  • Withdraw selected materials
  • Return materials with new call number labels to new shelf location
  • Deploy way finding resources to navigate the stacks and tools to learn LC classification


Project News

April 2024 Project Update

Spring semester has been busy as we focus on preparing to start classifying new books that arrive this Summer with Library of Congress (LC) call numbers. This has involved developing a workflow for reclassifying books, identifying processing materials that need to be purchased, continuing to work on collection evaluation, and planning a project to shift the current collection to create space for LC-classed books.

February 2024 Project Update

We recently completed an inventory of the library's general collections. Library inventories are important because they ensure that everything is in place on the shelf and accurately reflected in the online Library Search. This large multi-year inventory required the support and expertise of many library staff, whose work helped:

  • Identify missing books
  • Locate books shelved in the wrong place
  • Identify books that need to be repaired or withdrawn
  • Identify updates needed to the call number label or catalog record



If you have any questions or feedback, please reach out to one of the project managers: