I’ve had a nasty cold that has prevented me from doing much of anything lately. However, prior to getting sick, I was contemplating the whole “getting rid of Dewey” debate. Most of the arguments for getting rid of Dewey involve patron dissatisfaction that stems from not being able to physically locate the books and confusing signage (ie. The ends of shelves only having Dewey numbers and nothing more).
These are the questions that have arisen for me out of this:
Will getting rid of Dewey really solve the shelving issues at libraries, or is it just that, a shelving issue?
Is Dewey being blamed for a physical library’s shortcomings in shelving and arranging materials to fill our patrons’ needs?
Will “dummying” down libraries and getting rid of Dewey really solve access problems?
Although traditionally libraries shelve by classification number, they don’t have to. I’d love to see libraries embracing Dewey yet exploring new ways to shelve. Perhaps shelving by Dewey number within genre categories? Cataloguers provide subject headings and classifications. Front-line staff should take a leadership role in enhancing the “foundation” we are providing and find new and inventive ways to feature the collection so that it is easily accessible. Why do we need to get rid of one to have the other?
Dewey arguments/comments from other blogs: