You have questions. We’ve got answers. But how do we find those answers?
Libraries are filled with all sorts of books and information but sometimes it can feel like you’re are looking for a needle in a haystack. But actually, Dewey, our system for finding things, is quite simple. Think neighborhoods then think of the Dewey Decimal System as your road map.
Let’s say you are looking for books on cooking. In a bookstore you would probably look for a sign that says “Cookbooks”. Those books may be placed on shelves alphabetically by the last name of the author or maybe by title. Bookstores are set up for browsing. They want you to look around for awhile. Maybe you find what you are looking for – maybe not. Libraries are different – we’d like you to look around but we really want you to find exactly what you are looking for.
Let’s go to the cooking example. You are looking for a cookbook with recipes on casseroles. You have a big family gathering coming up. You really need ideas for a casserole – what are you going to do?? Your best bet – Ask a Librarian!! Chances are we can take you right to books on casseroles.
How can we do that? The Dewey Decimal System that’s how! Libraries are broken down into ‘neighborhoods’. Those neighborhoods have specific addresses – the Dewey number (what we call the Call Number) is that address. Cookbooks ‘live’ on a library street – 641. There you may find rows and rows of cookbooks. But you don’t want rows of cookbooks you just want one on casseroles!
Well think of the our call number as a street address with a specific house number. The ‘Dewey address’ for casseroles is 641.821. The first three numbers – 641- brings you to a ‘street’ called cookbooks, while the numbers after the decimal point – 821 – will take you specifically to the ‘house’ called casseroles. So that intimating number 641.821 is really telling you Cookbooks On Casseroles live here!
Not only does the library have what you’re looking for, we want you to find what you are looking for! You are welcome to visit the links below to learn more about the Dewey Decimal System or Ask a Librarian – we’d be happy to help you!