Wednesday, October 14, 2009

dewey bookmark

Given that Dewey has become embattled in recent years for its rigidity, and failure to allow for new topics to be introduced, I thought I'd give a nod to the Dewey Decimal System and old Melvil Dewey while I had the chance. It may be that we'll see less and less of Dewey in libraries in the future--especially those that specialize in leisure reading--as more of these institutions fight for patrons with the big box bookstores.

The Times Union reports that a branch library in Albany, NY, has given up on Dewey, and they made their public announcement about it via Twitter.

On the official Blog of the American Association of School Librarians, they are talking about Dewey. Shonda Brisco asks "Dewey" need Dewey?

And, in an article earlier this month in Library Journal, Barbara Fister examines the drawbacks of Dewey and compares it with BISAC (Book Industry Standards and Communications), which the bookstores use to organize their non-fiction collections. Fister states that "BISAC is an alphabetical list of categories ranging from Antiques and Collectibles to True Crime. Many librarians feel BISAC's relative simplicity and user-friendly language have an advantage over Dewey's complexity." There's lots of good stuff in Fister's article, if you're interested in Dewey, take a look.

I know I never could remember the numbers myself. I'm sure that why Highsmith Inc. printed this bookmark in the first place. I'm not sure where Dewey will end up, but I do know that if I can't find something at the library, I can always ask. But I'd rather not have to.

And who knows, maybe my bookmark will be worth something someday.

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