The World According to Dewey
July 19, 2010
Melvil Dewey created (and subsquently named after himself) the Dewey Decimal System way back in the late 1800's. A very interesting character (and sometimes not so nice), Dewey wanted a system of classification for libraries that was as simple to navigate as was possible, but still managed to organize the library collection. The result was the Dewey Decimal System. The system has undergone many changes throughout the last 130 or so years incorporating new subjects and inventions (DVD, audio book, and CD). In DDS, all non-fiction items in the collections are classified as numbers from 0 to 999. Each number relates to a particular subject. For instance, if a patron were looking for information on magic, they would need to look at 793.8 Dewey number. DVD's are arranged the same way, however, movies (or fictional stories) are still given a Dewey number in the 700's. This is the Arts and Recreation section of Dewey. It is impossible to memorize the whole system but some of our Fabulous Pages have gotten close. When you come to the desk looking for a particular item, we look up the Dewey and take you to it. While some librarians have been skeptical of this system, it has remained in place for over a century. Most public libraries use this system. Academic (college or university) libraries rely on the Library of Congress system (the system Congress uses in the National Library or the Library of Congress), which is in my mind, is a bit more confusing. I hope this little information bubble helps you in all your searches.
P.S. Let me know if you have questions. I have worked in a library for a year and a half now and still have questions about it.Tags: nonfiction