May 22, 2022

Full Text Article: “An Atlas of Classification. Signage Between Open Shelves, the Web and the Catalogue”

The following full text article appears in a new special issue (Vol. 5, No. 2; July 2014) of the Italian Journal of Library and Information Science.

The issue features papers presented at FSR 2014:”Faster, Smarter, Richer: Reshaping the Library Catalogue” that took place in Rome on February 27-28, 2014.


An Atlas of Classification. Signage Between Open Shelves, the Web and the Catalogue


Andrea Fabbrizzi
Università degli Studi di Firenze


Italian Journal of Library and Information Science
Vol. 5, No. 4 (July 2014)


This paper intends to present the in-progress project for the signage system of the Dewey-classified shelves in the Library of Social Sciences at the University of Florence. To make the classified arrangement effective, a signage system must clarify complexity, that is it must orient users towards the logic behind the shelf arrangement, presenting in a visible and understandable way the entities and the relationships which appear in class indexing.

This signage is based on cross-media communication and integrates the library’s communication means at various levels, both in the context of the same medium and between different media: between the information signs on the end-caps of the shelves, between these information signs and the library website, between the library website and the catalogue. Mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones are particularly suitable for this integrated system, because they give the possibility to access the Web while moving from shelf to shelf. The QR codes allow a link between the Dewey-classified shelves and the catalogue directly from the information signs.

Direct to Full Text Paper (22 pages; PDF)

See Also: Full Text Article: “Transforming and Enhancing Metadata for Enduser Discovery: A Case Study”
Another paper from FSR 2014.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( 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, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.