January 21, 2022

Michael Panzer Named New Editor-in-Chief of the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) System

Michael Panzer has been named the 10th Editor-in-Chief of the Dewey Decimal Classification System.

Panzer is also the first Editor-in-Chief from outside of the U.S.  He replaces Joan Mitchell who is retiring after 20 years in the position.

From an OCLC Announcement:

Mr. Panzer joined OCLC in May 2007 as Global Product Manager of Taxonomy Services, and was appointed Assistant Editor of the DDC in March 2009. From 2002 to 2005, he headed the technical team that translated Dewey into German. He was the first member of a Dewey translation team to be appointed Assistant Editor.

Mr. Panzer served on the W3C Library Linked Data Incubator Group, and is currently a member of the W3C Provenance Working Group.


Prior to joining OCLC, Mr. Panzer worked at Cologne University of Applied Sciences, where he was team leader of CrissCross, a research project funded by the German Research Foundation focused on mapping SWD, DDC, RAMEAU, and LCSH. He has an MA from Heinrich Heine University (Düsseldorf) in German Literature with a minor in Information Science. He also attended the University of California, Davis, on a four-month research scholarship.

Joan Mitchell officially retired as Dewey Editor-in-Chief on January 18. She has been closely affiliated with the DDC since 1985, when she became a member of the Decimal Classification Editorial Policy Committee. She chaired the committee from 1992 until her appointment as Dewey Editor in 1993. Prior to joining OCLC in 1993, she was Director of Educational Technology at Carnegie Mellon University and an Adjunct Professor in the School of Information Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh. She has also held various positions in academic and special libraries.

Under Ms. Mitchell’s editorship, OCLC published the following DDC editions: 21st in 1996, 22nd in 2003 and 23rd in 2011. In addition, she expanded the DDC’s electronic publications, including Dewey for Windows and WebDewey, a Web-based product with a generic user interface script to support access to Dewey data in different languages. Most recently, the DDC has been released as linked data.

Ms. Mitchell also oversaw the translation of various versions of the DDC into 18 languages and development of various mappings and crosswalks to the system. She visited 30 countries on six continents on behalf of Dewey. While at OCLC, she co-authored two books, wrote 30 scholarly papers for publication, and gave over 120 presentations in venues around the world.

In 2005, the American Library Association awarded Ms. Mitchell the Melvil Dewey Medal, which recognizes distinguished service to the profession of librarianship.

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.