What else besides Dewey?

Ok, full disclosure that I am using this as a way to gather input for my own use. At the Addison Public Library, we’re discussing ways to make the library more user-friendly. One of the topics is how to make the nonfiction collections more browse-able. We have just under 21,000 nonfiction items in children and about 36,000 nonfiction items in adult.

I know that ditching Dewey has been around for the past 8-10 years so I’m really interested in how well (or poorly) that’s turned out for libraries that have adopted a new or revised classification system.

Is anyone using a word-based or Dewey-hybrid system that they really like? Has this lead to a higher circulation of nonfiction items over time?

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2 Responses to What else besides Dewey?

  1. Linda Fairbanks says:

    We still use Dewey, but our lectures and music CDs have magnetic labels on the shelves ‘translating’ the Dewey number, i.e., [cid:image002.png@01CFB617.37B84540]
    Each category has its own color, as well as a matching vertical divider, which helps patrons navigate the shelves and also advertises other types of music seekers might not have thought of. The colors brighten up an otherwise drab length of shelving and we had many favorable patron comments when the system was put in place several years back. Unfortunately I did not have time to check whether the favorable comments translated into increased circulation.

    I think Dewey is as effective a classification system as any, but it’s a supply-side tool. The demand side doesn’t speak Dewey, so appropriate helps are a good idea. I would like to extend the above labeling to the rest of the library.

    Linda C. Fairbanks
    Technical Services Supervisor
    Oak Brook Public Library
    600 Oak Brook Road.
    Oak Brook, IL 60523

  2. Brooke S. says:

    I think a lot of what makes a collection easier to navigate comes down to signage. We have our music CDs divided by genre with great signs on the drawer fronts so the collection is easy to navigate. In Children’s Services we signs with pictures in the picture book and nonfiction collections so children can easily find books on dogs, dinosaurs, princesses, Dora, etc. I’m starting to think that maybe working on signage is a better way improve circulation rather than a new classification system.

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