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?