The Transparent Library: It’s Fine to Drop Dewey!

MS: Each semester, during an intro class unit on organization of information, we discuss these issues. Dewey designed a system that worked well for its time—and way beyond—but it has deficiencies we’ve tried to cover with Band-Aids, like more signage. We listen to Marshall Shore interviewed on NPR about the original project at Maricopa County Library District’s Perry Branch. Then the students share their views and personal experiences—and many echo what Michael mentioned above.

Smith has an answer: “WordThink allows library staff the freedom and creativity to develop collocation relationships that could never happen in Dewey. [It] allows staff to anticipate customers’ inquiries and shelve items that have natural affinities.”

What a perfect duty for librarians: creating connections among materials to inspire users. To me, this naturally pairs readers’ advisory with the foundations of collection management.

Read the whole column here

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