Dewey Decimal Classification

Who put the Dewey in the Dewey Decimal System?

Melvil Dewey lived an extraordinary life! He was born in Adams Center, New York, on December 10, 1851, and died on December 26, 1931.

He was a librarian who invented a decimal classification system for library books called the Dewey Decimal System.

In 1876, he founded the American Library Association and published the first Library Journal, which included new library trends and book reviews. Melvil opened the first library school in 1887 located at Columbia University.

Before we get started we're going to do a quick review. We are going to cover the difference between fiction and non-fiction and how to organize them. We will also discuss call numbers and what they look like.

Fiction - Books that are made up by the author, or are not true, are fiction

Nonfiction - is the opposite of fiction.
Books that are nonfiction, or true, are about real things, people, events, and places.

Still confused?
Well, here's another way to remember it: You can only say no once. Fiction = not true Nonfiction = true

Fiction books are put on the shelf in alphabetical order by the author's last name.
Let's pretend you wrote a book and your last name was Cleary. If kids liked your book, they would want to read more of them, so by having your books in the same place it would make finding them a lot easier.

Non-Fiction books are shelved by their subject's category For example, if you wanted a book about cars, you would want them to be in the same area. You wouldn't worry about the author, you would just want the facts about cars.

Fiction and non-fiction books are shelved this way so you can easily find the book of your choice.

If they weren't shelved this way, libraries would be in total chaos !

A call number is a group of numbers and/or letters put together to tell you where in the library to find your book. A call number is located at the bottom of the book on the spine. It helps you to find your books quicker. Once you've got your call number from the card catalog, it's time to go find your book!

This is where a call number is located:

Here's something to remember: Don't let it confuse you, but just because it's a call number doesn't mean it has numbers! Some call numbers are made up of letters. I'll show you some examples later.

Now, if you're having trouble finding your book on the shelf,
remember this rule for how the books are shelved: left-to-right, top-to-bottom

That means you start at the left on the top shelf and move to the right until the shelf ends. Then, you go to the next shelf beneath that and do the same, left to right, top to bottom.

When you get to the end of the bottom shelf,

move up to the top shelf of the next section, and continue...

What does a FICTION call number look like?
We have been talking about call numbers a whole lot. One thing we have not taught you is what a call number looks like. We need to teach you how fiction and Dewey call numbers are different.

F = Fiction McD = first 3 initials of the author's last name

Next, there is the call number that we use for nonfiction books and that is the Dewey Decimal Number. A Dewey call number always has three numbers to the left of the decimal.

To the right of the decimal, there is no limit on number. The more numbers you add to the right of the decimal, the more specific the subject is.

We are going to tell you how to remember what each of the Dewey hundreds groups represents.
One day, while Melvil Dewey was walking in Central Park, he saw a UFO. He became terrified of it, and ran to take cover.

The UFO approached Central Park with a loud noise and bright lights surrounding it. A weird looking creature stepped out of the space craft. Dewey got up from the ground and peeked out from behind a tree.

They stood staring at each other, and then they got up enough nerve to ask:

We think about ourselves: 100s - Psychology and Philosophy

Melvil and the alien looked at each other with puzzled expressions and noticed how different they were from each other. As they stood, they wondered to themselves:

Dewey realized that the alien's world must be very different from the United States. He decided to take him to learn about our government.

Alien Story 700 800

People learn to get along together: 300s - Social Sciences

Dewey knew that the alien would need to learn how to communicate with people.

400s - Languages We communicate with each other

Dewey and the alien began to stroll around, and Dewey explained life on Planet Earth.

We learn about Nature and the world around us: 500s - Natural Science.

Dewey explained to the alien that humans have changed Nature to make life easier.

How we can make Nature useful? 600s - Applied Science

Dewey explained to the alien that technology has made life easier on Planet Earth. It gives us more free time to do what we want. Dewey and the alien took a spare moment to shoot hoops.

700s - Fine Arts and Recreation

800s - Literature

Dewey and the alien had a fabulous day. He invited the alien to visit the library where he worked. Dewey gave him a tour of the library and explained how his decimal classification system worked. While there, they decided to make a memory of their day on Planet Earth by making a scrapbook. They wrote what will become history sooner or later - their day together!

900s - Geography and History

As the Alien prepared to leave, he told Dewey, "When I get back to my planet, I want to group all my books in this new awesome way. But, which hundred group should I put my scrapbook in?"
Dewey replied, "That's easy! You would put it in the 000s - General Works. That's where we put encyclopedias because they contain so much information that you can't describe them in one category!"

000s - General Works Encyclopedias, books about libraries, museums, journalism, computers, and controversial or unexplained topics.

100 - Philosophy and Psychology 150 - Psychology 155.2 - Psychology for Kids 158.1 - Chicken Soup for the Soul 177 - Random Acts of Kindness

200 - Religion

292 - Greek and Roman mythology 293 - 299 - World Religions - Buddhism, Islam, Judaism

300 - Social Sciences (government, economics, law, education, transportation, customs, folklore)

400 - Languages 419 - Structured verbal language other than spoken or written Sign Language 420 - English 423 - Dictionaries 430 - German 440 - French 450 - Italian 460 - Spanish 470 - Latin 480 - Greek 490 - Other languages

500 - Natural Science 523 - The Universe - galaxies, solar system, comets, sun, stars, etc. 551.2 - Volcanoes, earthquakes 551.5 - Meteorology - Weather, climate 552 - Rocks 595.1 - Worms 595.7 - Insects 597.9 - Reptiles

600 - Applied Science 611-612 - Human body 613.6 - Survival, Complete Wilderness Training Book 629.1 - Airplanes 629.2 - Cars 629.4 - Space travel 636 - Pets 641.5 - Cooking 649.1 - Child care - babysitting

700 - Fine Arts and Recreation 736 - Origami 741 - Drawing - general 743 - Drawing by subject (cartoons, animals, etc.) 780s - Music 793.73 - Games without action, puzzles, riddles (see also 398.6, 817-818) 796 - Sports 796.323 - Basketball 796.325 - Volleyball 796.332 - Football 796.334 - Soccer 796.357 - Baseball

800 - Literature 811 - American Poetry 812 - Plays (American) 817 - Humor (see also 398.6, 793.73 and 818)818 - Miscellaneous writings 822 - Plays (English) 822.33 - Shakespeare

900 - Geography and History 904 - Collected accounts of events, disasters - Titanic 910.9 - Explorers 912 - Atlases 913 - Ancient World 914 - Europe 915 - Asia 916 - Africa 917 - North America 929.4 - Personal Names, Baby Name Handbook. (NIC students like to see what their names mean!) 930 - History of the Ancient World 932 - Ancient Egypt - Mummies (see also 393) 937 - Ancient Rome 938 - Ancient Greece 940 - General History of Europe 940.1 - Medieval History 940.53 - Holocaust 940.53 - 940.54 - World War 2 950 - General History of Asia, Orient, Far East 960 - General History of Africa

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