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Shelving - Do you shelve Mc's with Mac's or strict alpha order...and does anyone know why libraries shelve them together? Trying to standardize things here to make it easier for floating staff.
August 2, 2010
Hahaha. I actually don't know how we shelve them. Fortunately we do LC here so it's only an issue for our hold shelf (shelved by borrowers' surnames) and our hold shelf is small enough that it doesn't matter. -
strict alpha. I don't know where that concept was started - all I ever heard when we did it that way was It Was Always Done That Way. :) -
Libraries shelve them together because, for many years, the filing rules said to do so. Times do change... Now, let me introduce you to that Huge New Section of title-filed shelves, between Tha and Thi... [Seems to me about half of media-organization programs and players auto-ignore "A " and "The " and about half don't. Loads'o'laughs.] -
yes, we shelved that was because of the filing rules - I just never heard a reason why the filing rules said to do so, if there ever was a reason. :) -
Together, despite how Mc's and Mac's are not always distant relatives. Just following the way it has always been. -
historically, in Scotland, there was a great deal of inconsistency in how people spelled their family names, with some branches of the family spelling it "Mac" and some branches spelling it "Mc". In general, the two prefixes are considered interchangeable, which is why they're supposed to be shelved together. -
We just had this convo on my statewide listserv. The filing rules were updated - in public libraries now, I believe it's generally strictly alphabetical to make it easier for patrons. Cuz it's supposed to be about making it easy for them :) This is the post from a colleague at UIowa "For what it's worth, the ALA Filing Rules (1980, still in print) specify filing letter by letter, so that MacDonald would come before McDonald. That was a pretty radical departure from past practice (and the previous ALA rules of 1968) which instructed to interfile Mc and Mac. Of course, these rules were primarily for filing in the card catalog, rather than the shelf, but the concept is the same."
Louise "Weezy" Alcorn
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