Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Have you mastered the Dewey Decimal System?

Mental Floss created a belated National Library Week lunchtime quiz about the much beloved (and frequently misunderstood) Dewey Decimal System. While I always knew that non-fiction books were arranged by numbers starting with 000 and ending at 999, I didn't have all 10 major classes memorized (let alone the divisions under each class).  I pretty much only knew the numbers I visited frequently (641= cookbooks, 741= graphic novels, 810s= American Literature, 780s= Music, and so forth). This is probably the way most library users understand Dewey.

However, now as a librarian, I am almost fully fluent in Dewey. You can give me a call number (613.25 for instance) and I can tell you what the subject of the book is going to be (dieting) and where it is in the stacks.  It's a nerdy and specific science, but useful. Naturally, I scored a (perfect) 10 on the quiz, not that I'm the bragging type...