Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Out with Dewey, in with....What?

I recently read an article, "The Dewey Dilemma" by  Barbara Fister, which discusses the new trend in libraries to abandon or change the Dewey Classification System in favor of more commercial classification, like bookstores. One point she addresses in this article is that while Dewey does have its problem; the answer should not be to throw it out altogether.

In particular, one library she discusses had implemented a system in the children's section which used open source software to map visually color-coded categories to make it easier to find books by category and age level while still keeping the Dewey system. This allow children to find books by browsing categories and age level while still keeping Dewey to pinpoint a particular book in the catalog. According to the librarian, Hams-Caserotti, "Since we opened in January 2009, the children's book circulation has been up about 30 percent each month and still growing as we fine-tune the collection and the room” (Fister, np).

 This article offers a great idea to help organize children and young adult non-fiction collections so children and teens can better understand and utilize the collection.

Work Cited
Fister, B. (2009). "The Dewey Dilemma: In the search for better browsability, librarians are putting Dewey in a different class." Library Journal, October 1, 22-25.

1 comment:

  1. Putting books in categories in a childrens section and using color coding in the catalog sounds nice. It sounds like it should work. However, what happens when the children get a little older and are hit in the face with reality, where Dewey does exist? There's no color coding in the older sections.
    The children MUST learn from the start. Don't dumb them down, build them up to face reality.