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Topic Description

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(How to use the scheme)

This classification scheme provides a system of organizing school library resources, books and non book resources alike. It has four broad parts summarized below:

Part A covers the summary of the classes (which consists of 20 Main Classes, 100 Divisions and 500 Sections) and the schedule which is a detailed step-by-step analysis and description of all the 500 sections.

Part B is the tables. There are three tables in all:

  • Table 1 – Type/Area Subdivision
  • Table 2 – Language Subdivision
  • Table 3 – Geographic Subdivision

Part C covers the Index which is an alphabetical listing of all the key words (classes) covered by the scheme pointing out where they may be located at the schedule.


Basically, the scheme uses alpha-numeric (alphabets and numbers) symbols to represent the classes developed. The 20 main classes is developed using the first twenty English alphabets, A – T.  Each alphabet begins the class represented by it except Class D which stands for Education. Class N was however unassigned in order to accommodate new subjects that might come in future and which would be included on the review of the scheme. This mnemonic strategy serves as memory aid for cataloguers (teacher/school librarians) and for the pupils and students who learn faster and easily with mnemonics. This strategy on the other hand assists the user/searcher to find a specific item in the class and invariably directs him/her where related subjects belong.


The classes are arranged alphabetically (not hierarchically). Classes therefore were developed according to subject areas in primary and secondary schools and not by discipline as found with most other classification schemes. This way, each individual class is described appropriately in order to state clearly the exact material to be classed there.

From the 20 main classes, five (5) other classes were created from each class to make 100 divisions.

Example –

A – Audiovisual Resources

A1 – Cartographic Materials

A2 – Microforms

A3 – Graphic Materials

A4 – Audio and Video Disks

A5 – Three Dimensional Objects


Each of the 100 divisions gave rise to five (5) other sub-classes making 500 sections. This approach as earlier stated is to be as specific as possible in organizing the resources.

Example –

A3 – Graphic Materials

A31 – slides and filmstrips

A32 – posters and cartoons

A33 – radiographs

A34 – pictures

A35 – photographs


In the schedule, there is cross-referencing where the user/searcher is redirected on the classification of materials which are related by content context, form, etc.

For example, this is an extract from the schedule on class A35

A35 – Photographs – Here, class all photographs. Photographs are pictures made using a camera in which an image is focused on to light sensitive material and then made visible and permanent by chemical treatment.

! However, Materials on the art, techniques and processes of Photography are entered under T53



The table is divided into three parts: TABLE 1 – Type/Area Subdivision, TABLE 2 – Geographic Subdivision and TABLE 3 – Language Subdivision.


Numbers derived from the table is not used alone. Instead, they only act as attachments or appendages to numbers derived from the schedule.  The cataloguers (i.e. teacher/school librarian) having classified the material using the schedule is further expected to determine the specific type/area subdivision for that material using the table.

For example, in classifying these two materials, the following class marks is derived:


Physical Geography –                         P33

Physical Geography in Africa –          P33.01


Note: 01 in the second example is derived from table 2, geographic subdivision.


This subdivision therefore is meant to classify each material as specific as possible thereby reducing possible duplication and assigning of identical numbers to separate works.

With the tables, however, numbers are assigned according to order of precedence. Example, a material on English Grammar for Junior Secondary Students in Nigeria will be classified using the class mark for English Grammar and then appending the number for Junior Students which appeared first in table 1, and not Nigeria (in geographic subdivision) which appeared in Table 2. Thus the class mark for the material is E4.0017 and not E4.130



The index is the alphabetical listing of all the keywords, concepts, topics, titles, etc used in the scheme and the pages where they may be located.


A – Audiovisual Resources

B – Basic Primary Science, Biology and Agriculture

C – Computer Science and Mathematics

D – Education

E – English Language

F – Fine Art, Craft and Decorative Art

G – General Works

H – History, Government and Politics

I – Indigenous Knowledge

J – Journals and other Periodicals

K – Knowledge Management

L – Literature/Fiction

M – Music

N – (Unassigned)

O – Other Languages (apart from English)

P – Physics, Chemistry and Geography

Q – Quizzes, Etiquettes, Hymns and Morals

R – Religion

S – Social Sciences

T – Technology and Technical Education



A – Audiovisual Resources

A1 – Cartographic Materials

A2 – Microforms

A3 – Graphic Materials

A4 – Audio and Video Disks

A5 – Three Dimensional Objects


B – Basic Primary Science, Biology and Agriculture

B1 – Basic Primary Science

B2 – Integrated Science

B3 – Biology

B4 – Agriculture

B5 –


C – Computer Science and Mathematics

C1 – Computer Appreciation, Maintenance and Installation

C2 – Computer Hardware and Software

C3 – Elementary Mathematics, Algebra, Geometry and Calculus

C4 – Quantitative Reasoning and Statistical Mathematics

C5 – Computer Design and Data Processing


D – Education

D1 – School Management and Curriculum

D2 – Health Education

D3 – Physical Education

D4 – School Syllables & Guidance and Counseling

D5 – Educational Developments


E – English Language

            E1 – Elementary English

E2 – Creative Writings and Essays

E3 – Oral English

E4 – English Grammar

E5 – Verbal Reasoning



F – Fine Arts, Crafts and Decorative Art

            F1 – Fine and Applied Art

F2 – Crafts

F3 – Drawing and Painting

F4 – Art Theories and Concepts

F5 – Textile and Decorative Arts



G – General Works

            G1 – Dictionaries

G2 – Encyclopedias and Biographies

G3 – Geographic Sources

G4 – Bibliographies, Indexes and Abstracts

G5 – Handbooks, Guides and Manuals



H – History, Government and Politics

            H1 – History

H2 – Government

H3 – Politics

H4 –

H5 –


I – Indigenous Knowledge

            I1 – Oral Traditions

I2 – Culture, Customs and Traditions

I3 – Myths and Legends

I4 – Folklores

I5 – Folk songs, music and dances


J – Journals and other Periodicals

            J1 – Journals

J2 – Newspapers/Dailies

J3 – Magazines, Newsletters and Bulletins

J4 – Yearbooks

J5 – Calendars and Almanacs


K – Knowledge management

            K1 – Libraries

K2 – Museums

K3 – Archives

K4 – Laboratories

K5 – Repositories


L – Literature/Fiction

            L1 – Children’s Literature

L2 – Poetry

L3 – Drama

L4 – Prose

L5 – Literary Essays and Speeches 

M – Music

            M1 – Music General Principles

M2 – Music Harmony and Notes

M3 – Comparative Music Studies

M4 – African Music

M5 – Western Music


N – (Unassigned)







O – Other Languages (apart from English)

            O1 – Igbo Language

O2 – Hausa Language

O3 – Yoruba Language

O4 – French Language

O5 – Other World Languages


P – Physics, Chemistry and Geography

            P1 – Physics

P2 – Chemistry

P3 – Geography

P4 –

P5 –


Q – Quizzes, Etiquettes, Hymns and Morals

            Q1 – Quizzes

Q2 – Etiquettes

Q3 – Moral Instruction

Q4 – Civic Duties and Education

Q5 – Hymns and Recitations



R – Religion

            R1 – Christian Religious Studies

R2 – Islamic and Arabic Studies

R3 – African Traditional Religion

R4 – Religion and Ordinances

R5 – Other World Religions





SEE FAQ (frequently asked questions)


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