Numbers (Solution, continued)

by Julian Gilbey

(You should have seen the first part of the solution if you are reading this, and have the Reading List to follow the rest of the solution!)

The reading list contains seven books given by their Library of Congress call numbers. There is also an extra source given to "resolve any disputes":

Z674.82.O15.O16 1998 OCLC, 1967-1997 : thirty years of furthering access to the world's information / K. Wayne Smith, editor.

which hints (quite strongly!) that one should be using OCLC to look the books up - see below.

The remaining seven books are listed in alphabetical order of author surname:

P765.B922 A dictionary of selected synonyms in the principal Indo-European languages; a contribution to the history of ideas / Carl Darling Buck.
QA76.9.H85.B8713 2003 Virtual reality technology / Grigore Burdea, Philippe Coiffet.
BD638.C67 2007 Time and the shape of history / Penelope J. Corfield.
BR115.I6.H326 Unfinished man and the imagination; toward an ontology and a rhetoric of revelation / Ray L. Hart.
RA420.H48x 1939 Ways to community health education / Ira V. Hiscock
HM146.K59 1999 Love's labor : essays on women, equality, and dependency / Eva Feder Kittay.
Q175.W55x 1847 The philosophy of the inductive sciences : founded upon their history / William Whewell.

The flavortext indicates that they need classifying, and the fact that their authors are currently in alphabetical order suggests that reordering will be necessary. So far, we have used two book numbering or classification schemes: ISBN and Library of Congress. The other major one not yet used, and further clued by the fact that the reading list is posted in the Dewey Library, is the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC). Finding the DDC codes for these books, using the OCLC Dewey catalog,, shows that they all have simple, three digit, Dewey classification numbers, respectively:

  • 413 (although this is also listed as 413.1)
  • 006
  • 115
  • 218
  • 614
  • 305
  • 501

(Since classification is an art, and there is often more than one way to classify a multi-disciplinary work, different libraries may classify the same books differently. This is why the puzzle instructs you to use OCLC to "resolve any disputes".)

Reordering these by the first digit, and using the second and third digits as the letter of the alphabet (A=01, B=02, etc.) gives:

  • 006 F
  • 115 O
  • 218 R
  • 305 E
  • 413 M
  • 501 A
  • 614 N

which gives the final answer FOREMAN.