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Dewey Decimal Classification
Who put theDeweyin the
Dewey Decimal System?
Melvil Dewey lived
an extraordinary life! He was born in
Adams Center, New York, onDecember 10, 1851,
and died onDecember 26, 1931.
He was a librarian who invented adecimal classification system for
library books called theDewey 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
Before we get startedwe're going to do a quick review.
We are going to coverthe difference betweenfiction and non-fiction
and how to organize them.We will also discuss
call numbersand 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.
Well, here's another way to remember it:
You can only say no once.
Fiction = not trueNonfiction = true
Fiction books are put on the shelf inalphabetical 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 findthe 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 lettersput together to tell you
where in the libraryto find your book.
A call number is locatedat the bottom of the book on the spine.It helps you to find your books quicker.
Once you've got your call numberfrom 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 forhow the books are shelved:
That means you start at the left on the top shelfand move to the rightuntil the shelf ends.
Then, you go to the next shelf beneath thatand 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 numbersare different.
F = Fiction McD = first 3 initials of theauthor'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 numbersto 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.
People learn to get along together: 300s - Social Sciences
Alien Story700 - 800
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 Deweyexplained 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 backto 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 Soul177 - Random Acts of Kindness
200 - Religion
292 - Greek and Roman mythology293 - 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 - Dictionaries430 - German 440 - French 450 - Italian 460 - Spanish470 - Latin480 - Greek490 - Other languages
500 - Natural Science
523 - The Universe - galaxies, solar system, comets, sun, stars, etc.551.2 - Volcanoes, earthquakes551.5 - Meteorology - Weather, climate552 - Rocks595.1 - Worms595.7 - Insects597.9 - Reptiles
600 - Applied Science
611-612 - Human body613.6 - Survival, Complete Wilderness Training Book629.1 - Airplanes629.2 - Cars629.4 - Space travel636 - Pets641.5 - Cooking649.1 - Child care - babysitting
700 - Fine Arts and Recreation
736 - Origami741 - Drawing - general743 - Drawing by subject (cartoons, animals, etc.)780s - Music793.73 - Games without action, puzzles, riddles (see also 398.6, 817-818)796 - Sports796.323 - Basketball796.325 - Volleyball796.332 - Football796.334 - Soccer796.357 - Baseball
800 - Literature
811 - American Poetry812 - Plays (American)817 - Humor (see also 398.6, 793.73 and 818)818 - Miscellaneous writings822 - Plays (English)822.33 - Shakespeare
900 - Geography and History
904 - Collected accounts of events, disasters - Titanic910.9 - Explorers912 - Atlases913 - Ancient World914 - Europe915 - Asia916 - Africa917 - North America
929.4 - Personal Names, Baby Name Handbook. (NIC students like to see what their names mean!)930 - History of the Ancient World932 - Ancient Egypt - Mummies (see also 393)937 - Ancient Rome 938 - Ancient Greece940 - General History of Europe940.1 - Medieval History940.53 - Holocaust940.53 - 940.54 - World War 2 950 - General History of Asia, Orient, Far East960 - General History of Africa