[PW] Project-wombat Digest, Vol 142, Issue 8

Jen Wilson jemawi at gmail.com
Mon Mar 8 17:42:44 PST 2021


Some really great responses here - took me right back to when I was
studying!

Dewey is a much easier system to teach the basics to kids and it works
really well for 'generalist' collections that contain a little bit of
everything. That's why most people are familiar with it - they've been
exposed to it in school and then again in most public libraries.
Unfortunately it's also a fairly rigid system where not a lot of space was
left for new developments, so it can be really hard to incorporate new
topics (especially around technology and science), and thanks to its base
of 10 approach, it means that the cutter numbers (those after the decimal
point) can become ridiculously enormous if you want to precisely catalogue
an item and cover it's subject comprehensively. And why it doesn't work
well in specialty collections.

Unfortunately the first exposure most people have to LC is when they arrive
at college/university and discover that the "library doesn't use proper
numbering" - as I've been told many times...Once they get the hang of LC it
is a great system to navigate the collections with but it can take a while.
It can also be hard for some library staff to transition between the 2
systems depending on how attached they are to the Dewey system.

I lost track of the number of times new staff would get frustrated when
being trained in classification/shelving and ask why we couldn't just keep
the books sorted by colour. You either like your books in proper order or
you don't ;-)

Jen

On Mon, 22 Feb 2021 at 16:52, Rick Hart <rshart3 at comcast.net> wrote:

> Hi Jill,
> For shelving purposes in Dewey Decimal, you just put everything in order by
> the first numeral after the point, and then those by the next number (if
> any), and so on. An empty space comes before any digit, including 0.  Only
> if the numbers are identical do you start to order the books by the author
> or title letters afterward.  So a seeming "number" after the decimal can be
> larger but come first -- e.g.,  .106 comes before .2.  You just order
> everything by the digits, including those before the decimal point, moving
> from left to right.
> And as people commented, the system can result in horrifically long number
> sequences.  But in its own cumbersome way, it may be easier to grasp for
> many people than LC (or Cutter, with which I was inflicted in the last
> several years of my working life.)
> Rick
>
> Message: 1
> Date: Sat, 20 Feb 2021 22:59:56 -0800
> From: Jill Weber <jilldweber at gmail.com>
> To: list at project-wombat.org
> Subject: Re: [PW] Question about the Dewey Decimal System
> Message-ID:
>         <CADTb5wPBB6rBqhe-Uvigh=
> ivnbvkFgB13d-bKXSuwsEt5XHBNA at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="UTF-8"
>
> Hello Dana,
>
> Thank you for answering! I was comparing .1 to .10 (not .01) because that's
> what was on the spine. I was confused because one book had two digits after
> the decimal point and the other only had one digit.
> Cheers!
> Jill
>
> On Fri, Feb 19, 2021 at 11:12 PM Dana Dalrymple <
> ddalrymple at spokanelibrary.org> wrote:
>
> > Because this is a decimal system, 610.1 and 610.10 are the same
> > number. I think the 610.10 was a typo - either they meant 610.1 or
> > 610.01. If it was 610.01, that would come before .1.  Check WorldCat
> > for the title to see if there is a listing of the Dewey number to
> compare.
> >
> > Dana Dalrymple
> > Managing Librarian |
> > Spokane Public Library
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Project-wombat <project-wombat-bounces at lists.project-wombat.org>
> > On Behalf Of Jill Weber
> > Sent: Friday, February 19, 2021 1:14 PM
> > To: list at project-wombat.org
> > Subject: [PW] Question about the Dewey Decimal System
> >
> > Hello!
> >
> > I need some help shelving books. I need to know if 610.1 is the same
> > number as 610.10.
> >
> > My question came up because I had to shelve these books:
> >
> > 1. 610.1 CON
> > 2. 610.10 ABE
> >
> > I was thinking that Book 1 came first because .1 comes before .10.
> > However, after reading up on DDS, I think that Book 2 should have come
> > first because ABE comes before CON. However, I haven't come across an
> > example that explains the difference, if any, between .1 and .10.
> >
> > Please tell me which system is correct,
> >
> > Thanks in advance!
> >
> > Jill Weber
>
>
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* ~ The creative adult is the child who has survived. Ursula K. Le Guin ~*


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