The Use of BISAC in Libraries as New Cases of Reader-Interest Classifications Articles uri icon

publication date

  • January 2014

start page

  • 137

end page

  • 155


  • 2


  • 52

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0163-9374

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 0898-008X


  • In the recent years, several libraries in the United States have been experimenting with Book Industry Standards and Communications (BISAC), the classification system of the book industry, as an alternative to the Dewey Decimal Classification. Although rarely discussed, these cases of implementation of BISAC arguably resemble other past cases of replacement of traditional classifications that received the name of reader-interest classifications. In this article, a comparison of the BISAC cases to the previous cases of reader-interest classifications is taken in order to determine if the current application of BISAC to libraries is susceptible to the same problems, dangers, and ends as occurred in the past.


  • classification; classification systems; dewey decimal classification; controlled vocabularies: subject access