Do you Dewey?

Today, the library where I work began a (hopefully) week-long project to transition our nonfiction collection to a Dewey-free layout. First, all of the books need to be removed from the shelves and sorted by topic. We will affix stickers on the spines of each book identifying the topic and update the library catalog with the new information. Then, the shelves are being moved to maximize the lighting. Finally, we will begin the process of re-shelving the books accordingly. Today, we took down about half of the collection, sorting as we go, and tomorrow we will hopefully finish that first phase.

I am interested to see how it all turns out. I’ve heard of Dewey-free libraries but I have never seen one myself. I think it is a great move in terms of patron usability. Browsing will be easier and the topic groupings will be more intuitive than Dewey’s designations. And when searching for a particular book, the library catalog will still be able to direct patrons to the specific place they need to look.

Does your library do Dewey?


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I am a teen librarian. I am a learner of things and a doer of doings.

2 thoughts on “Do you Dewey?”

  1. I’m the librarian of an elementary school in Athens, GA. We recently finished our transition away from the DDS and we couldn’t be happier. It was a lot of work, but the payoff has been so worth it. Students are able to find books independently and are exposed to more great books that they like.

    If you’re thinking about leaving Dewey, I’m happy to offer suggestions or answer any questions you might have. Just shoot me a message on Twitter at @stroudlibrary.

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