Dewey Decimal going dinosaur
| Mar 02, 2011
To find a favorite book in Elgin's Rakow Branch library, 6-year-old Rina Teglia marched straight to the "Ready to Read" section and picked out Bathtime for Biscuit. While she was at it, a nearby book titled If You Give a Mouse a Cookie caught her eye, so she grabbed it to take home, too. "I like it a lot," Rina said of the library. "You can find books easily."
Score one for the library's bookstore-style layout. And shed a tiny tear for the Dewey Decimal Classification system, long the standard in the industry. A handful of pioneering Chicago suburban libraries are transitioning from the librarian-loved but misunderstood Dewey to the type of organization system used by booksellers. The new layout groups books by subject rather than number, uses signs to highlight contemporary, popular categories, and displays books by their covers.
Critics say the new system is a nightmare for anyone trying to find a specific book that doesn't fit into an obvious category. Supporters counter that the system does what libraries should be doing: encourage people to read more books. Read more in this article by Robert McCoppin in The Chicago Tribune online.