December 10, 1851 is one of the most auspicious days in library history. It is the birthday of Melvil Dewey (1851-1931). As well as being the inventor of the Dewey Decimal System for library classification, his contribution to the development of the library profession was considerable. Dewey helped to found the American Library Association, the Columbia School for Library Economy, the first institution of its kind.
When I was at uni, one of the classes I took was called Information Organisation. Mainly using the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) and Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) we learnt the basic skills of cataloguing, and also evaluated various classification systems, such as MESH, which is often used in medical libraries, and Moyes, used in the legal sector. Learning these systems was headache inducing, but in retrospect I'm glad I put the time in to gain competency in their use, because this later became a great help to me when I entered the library profession at the end of 2002.
In evaluating DDC and LCSH, I distinctly remember my lecturer's remarks. Despite numerous revisions since their conception, both of these schema are still the product of a 19th century American worldview. As such, one can see a distinct Judeo-Christian bias in them, amongst other things. Granted this doesn't reflect our more cosmopolitan modern society, but this bias isn't necessarily a bad thing when you work in a theological library, and a good portion of your working day is often spent cataloguing theological resources.