In response to the problem of organizing the world’s vast
collection of published material, the Dewey Decimal System
divides all knowledge into ten main classes by choosing
decimals for its categories so that its approach is numerical
(5) and, therefore, infinitely divisible. Libraries that use a Dewey
Decimal System classification place books on the shelves in
increasing numerical order. When two books have the same
subject—and hence the same associated classification
number—the book is placed with other books of the same
(10) number in alphabetical order according to the author’s last
name. Although most public libraries have adopted the
Dewey Decimal System since Melvin Dewey developed it in
1876, several problems keep it from being a flawless system.
Fields of knowledge have changed and expanded since its
(15) beginnings, and the Dewey Decimal System’s decimal basis
makes it difficult to incorporate new subjects that Melvin
Dewey did not originally include as one of the system’s ten
classification categories. Critics of the Dewey Decimal System
claim that it is inadequate in classifying the rapidly changing
(20) fields of engineering and computer science. For this reason,
most major academic libraries in the United States do not
classify research in those areas by using Dewey Decimal
System. An alternate system, the Library of Congress
Classification, divides knowledge into twenty-one subject
(25) areas, makes it more conducive to the addition of new
subject areas than the Dewey Decimal System. Furthermore,
because the Library of Congress Classification has more
subject areas, its notations are much shorter compared to
the same class in the Dewey Decimal System. The Library of
(30) Congress Classification was developed for a specific library,
the Library of Congress, but its advantages have made it
more widely used by large research and academic libraries
than the Dewey Decimal System, which is still the most
common classification system employed by public libraries
(35) and small academic libraries.
The author of the passage focuses primarily on:
A. describing the causes and effects of knowledge organization.
B. praising the success of an organization system.
C. explaining a system and its shortcomings.
D. arguing that one system is better than another.
E. advocating greater organization of the world’s knowledge.