Ditching Dewey Decimal

Amanda Gordon

Hartselle Enquirer

 

The Dewey Decimal Classification System is the most widely used method for classifying books in the library. It is named after the American Librarian, Melvin Dewey who developed it in 1876. It is a numerical scheme for the arrangement of nonfiction books and it divides them into 10 main categories. Each category is represented by figures beginning with 000 and ending with 999. Each number stands for a special topic and each book is given a number and put on the shelf in numerical order. Even though the system has been used for quite a while, Crestline librarian, Stephanie Roden has another idea in mind.

“I’ve been thinking really hard about it the past year. I’ve been reading blogs and I’ve watched a webinar on it and I’ve decided to ditch Dewey,” said Roden. The Dewey Decimal system is what public school systems have used for almost 100 years. But as Roden modernizes her library, she ditched Dewey and began to categorize the books on the shelves. There are several types of fiction, realistic fiction, horror fiction and historical fiction. “It generally takes about midway through fourth grade before they start to grasp it. Now, if a student wants a book based on a girl in the 1800s, they will know to look in the historical section. It’ll make it a lot easier. Even when teachers assign book reports, they can pick a genre and look at the options under the genre,” she says. They will choose a genre in the Read Box, it will tell them what area to go to and it will guide them to the binder that they need. From then, they can choose what book they want to read from the binder on the shelf. Roden tells her students that it is like looking for addresses. First, you look for the state, then the city, the street and the house. It starts off as a broad range and the options get slimmer as more details about each book are added in. She only has a few little details to finish before the Crestline library has completely ditched Dewey.

For this next school year, Roden is also in the process of making a Makerspace. The Makerspace is in the corner of the library and will be used for multiple purposes. For the fourth graders, it will be an area for them to learn how to program and use robots with iPads. For younger grades it will be used for a reading area and there will be a LEGO Wall inside the wall. The money made by the book fair in February has funded this.

The 2016-2017 school year at Crestline will be much different in the ways of the library and Stephanie Roden is excited to see what is in store with all of her new additions.

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