The Cataloging Distribution Service has just released Classification Plus, a new and revolutionary automated cataloging tool. Classification Plus is a full-text, Windows-based CD-ROM product combining Library of Congress Classification schedules and the Library of Congress Subject Headings - two of the most popular and most heavily used LC cataloging products - on a single CD-ROM disc.
Classification Plus uses the same powerful Folio software as its companion product, Cataloger's Desktop, making it one of the most user-friendly cataloging tools in a librarian's automated tool kit. Classification Plus is Windows-based and simple to read, with a display text that looks just like the print versions.
"The installation was so easy and self-guided, that we hardly used the documentation," wrote Janet Berry and Michael Klossner of Arkansas State Library. "It installed the way that most CD-ROM products install, and that is what we would expect."
The hypertext links within and between the LCSH and LC Classification schedules are an especially useful and popular feature. "Looking up a heading in the Subject Headings and having a link to the classification cited. ... Very nice!" reported Gary Parlee of Special Libraries Cataloging. "They [hypertext links] were great," added Ms. Berry and Mr. Klossner.
Users can view headings in an expandable hierarchical display and construct complex query searches using boolean, keyword, phrase, wild card and proximity searching. "The query feature is a great instrument in the hands of a resourceful cataloger," said Jan Mirejovsky, a science librarian at University of California at Irvine. "It helps to focus a search, to abort instantly bad search strategies and ... hit the jackpot rather quickly. By modifying the queries, you can zero in on the solution."
Users will also be able to access LCSH and the Classification Schedules through the Windows interface along with their other computer applications. "Just being able to get to the schedules online and toggle back and forth to the other files I use was a breakthrough," said Angela Randtke of the University of North Florida. "Accessing the schedules from the CD-ROM alone was a big time saver."
Finally, Classification Plus is network-friendly. It can be used on either a single-user workstation or on a local area network (LAN) server, and with its low-cost additional user fee, all cataloging and reference staff can have instant access.
Classification Plus is available as an annual subscription with quarterly issues. The second issue, now available, includes the entire Library of Congress Subject Headings plus the following seven classification schedules: H (Social Sciences), J (Political Science), R (Medicine), L (Education), E-F (History: America), T (Technology), and Z (Bibliography and Library Science). Classification Schedules B-BJ (Philosophy. Psychology), N (Fine Arts), Q (Science) and U-V (Military Science. Naval Science) will appear in issue 3, to be distributed in August. Additional schedules will be added during the subscription year as they become available to the Cataloging Distribution Service.
Classification Plus costs $410 in North America and $415 outside North America for a single user, with an additional user fee of only $16. Each additional user receives a full set of user documentation. A 15 percent discount is offered if Classification Plus and its companion product, Cataloger's Desktop, are purchased together. A demonstration version of Classification Plus is available via Anonymous FTP: Connect to ftp.loc.gov and move to directory pub/cds/deskclas. Download all of the files in the subdirectory and print the WordPerfect file cdinfo.wp5 for further information. Username: Anonymous. Password: Your email address.
For further information on Classification Plus, check the CDS homepage at http://www.loc.gov/cds/ or contact: Library of Congress, Customer Services Section, Cataloging Distribution Service, P.O. Box 75720, Washington, DC 20013-5720. Telephone (800) 255-3666 (U.S. only) or (202) 707-6100; fax: (202) 707-1334; TDD: (202) 707-0012; Internet: firstname.lastname@example.org/.