ERIC Number: EJ1040142
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Reference Count: 1
Is It Truly a Matter of "Dewey or Don't We"?
Kaplan, Allison G.
Knowledge Quest, v42 n2 p46-47 Nov-Dec 2013
To some, discussing the demise of the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) system is tantamount to blasphemy, while to others it is a discussion long overdue (no pun intended). The author was asked, as an educator of librarians, to present her thoughts on the issue. Her conclusions are based not on thorough scientifically sound research, but rather on discussions she has had with students and with building-level school librarians. What the author discovered is that both the pro- and anti-DDC perspectives use the same reasons for their arguments, namely: easier to keep the collection organized, better information retrieval, and (perhaps most importantly) integrates well with the Common Core State Standards requirements. Additionally, detractors say that DDC is unnecessary in today's school library collections that consist mostly of electronic resources. Those who argue against DDC cite the following issues explained in this article: (1) DDC does not do well in organizing fiction collections; (2) Numbers are difficult to understand and intimidating to the user, thus hindering information retrieval; (3) Electronic resources do not require a place on a shelf; therefore, classification numbers are irrelevant; and (4) DDC does not meet curricular and Common Core State Standards requirements because it does not align with school subjects. The author feels that the bookstore/genre models are great for fiction. Librarians who have made the genre switch for their fiction collections are thrilled with the results. However, in her opinion, for information books and other resources: keep the Dewey.
Descriptors: Library Materials, Library Services, Library Development, Organizational Change, Performance Factors, Classification, Fiction, Usability, Electronic Libraries, State Standards, School Libraries
American Association of School Librarians. Available from: American Library Association. 50 East Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611. Tel: 1-800-545-2433; Web site: http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/aasl/aaslpubsandjournals/knowledgequest/knowledgequest.cfm
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A