Some Geek-Talk On Organizing Your Library

The simple truth is that most scholars and pastors are bibliophiles. We like to build our library. We like having lots of books. We jump at the chance for free books. And we're pretty regularly spending money on new books. While I personally now prefer to have my books in Logos format, not every book makes it into the Logos library, so there will always be books on my shelf. Lots of books in fact.

It was a few years ago that I was getting increasingly frustrated with scanning my shelves and not being able to find a book I knew I owned. So I decided to geek-out and organize my library according to the LOC (library of congress system). The other option is the dewey decimal system, but as I was more familiar with the LOC system, and my university library uses the LOC system, I went with that.

Why would this be helpful you say? Well, if you read my blog you know that one of my favorite apps is my reference manager (Sente). Every book and article I have is catalogued in Sente. Part of that catalogue of information is (now) the LOC number.

I am lucky enough to have a TA in my position. So a number of years ago I had my TA (and now friend) Roy Medeiros fill out my database with any missing LOC numbers. We (mostly he) then used a label maker to begin printing off all of the LOC numbers and placing them on the spine of each book. Finally, they were all placed in order on my shelves. Once the backlog was done, it has not been difficult to continue this process of labeling each new book and putting it in its proper place.

So now, the frustration is gone. When I need to reach for a book, I don't spin my chair and scan my shelves. I bring up Sente, type a few words of the title, get the LOC number, and quickly locate it on my shelf. And every time I do that, the geek in my rejoices at the organization of it all!

Posted by Danny Zacharias.