Be forewarned that some material in this post may be shocking to Dewey aficionados. If this describes you, dear reader, please avert your eyes...
Yesterday, as I was browsing Pinterest, I saw this blog post about a middle school librarian in South Carolina who decided to ditch Dewey to make her library less confusing and more user-friendly. My first reaction was an audible gasp!
What would I do without all of those decimals to bring order out of chaos? How would I even organize the non-fiction without Dewey? What would my principal say? My teachers? My students?
This has been on my mind for the past 24 hours, and my initial shock has been replaced by thoughtful contemplation. I read more about it on the Dewey-Free Library Scoop It.
I have to admit that I'm intrigued. Our students (and library volunteers, and some teachers) seem to stay confused about the Dewey Decimals, no matter how many scavenger hunts we have. I want students to find "good fit" books quickly, so that they don't check out books they aren't interested in and/or can't read. Would a new, simpler system of organization help them with this?
I'm definitely thinking about it. Next month, I have to pack and move every book in our library so we can get new carpet over the summer. Since I have to pick up and handle every single book, is now the time to give this a try? If I didn't have to teach kids the Dewey Decimal system, could I use that time to teach skills more important to twenty-first century learning? Would it boost circulation and help students to read more, learn more?
Here are more articles to feed your thoughts:
An elementary school library in Colorado uses WordThink, like bookstores do, to organize books.
This school library leader in New York thinks that abandoning Dewey will make libraries more intuitive, like an iPad.
School Library Monthly article about the above-mentioned elementary school in Colorado
A public library in Wisconsin drops Dewey.
The word-based classification system is called BISAC.
Bound To Stay Bound article about reorganizing even the picture book section on the bookstore model
So...have any of you tried this? Do you want to? Please share your thoughts and experiences with us!