The Dewey Decimal System. Taught to most of us sometime in elementary school, is a numeric way of finding non-fiction books on the shelves of libraries. There is an organizational method to those numbers, seemingly cryptic except to those in the library-know, but not very user friendly to those wishing to browse our shelves of non-fiction.
Some public libraries have decided to switch to the bookstore model of organizing books, where words such as TRAVEL replace the Dewey number 910, HISTORY replace 930-940 & GARDENING replace 630 to make their shelves more user friendly.
After some debate, we at the Meredith Public Library decided to experiment with switching some of our popular non-fiction collections to the bookstore model (called BISAC) to see what our faithful library patrons think of it. Joyce has been working tirelessly researching BISAC and making the switch and so far has completed Travel, History, Cooking and Gardening.
So for example in our Cooking section, all cookbooks will have the main heading of COOKING on their spine label. Then there are subheadings. So if you are looking for Italian cookbooks, the spine will look like:
Taking a trip across the pond? The spine label would look like this:
Need to learn about Germany's past? The spine label would look like this:
We are still working on the best way to organize the shelves since most of our books are still in Dewey and it makes it confusing to see both systems being used. We are still working out some kinks. New non-fiction books, regardless of their spine label, are still shelved with new non-fiction on the main floor.
So, we welcome your feedback. What are your thoughts on using the bookstore model over Dewey? Would you like to see us switch all of our non-fiction books over to the bookstore model of change back to Dewey?
We are looking for ways to make our collection more accessible to everyone, so your input would be most appreciated. While checking out your books, please give your opinion at the front desk and this information will be forwarded to me.
-- Erin Apostolos, Library Director.
The Librarians and Library Aides of the Meredith Public library: Erin, Chris, Matthew, Karen, John, Cherie, Joyce, Jessica, and Linda. Please check out our Staff page for more information.