Dewey Decimal System, December 10, pays tribute to Melvil Dewey and the library classification system he created to efficiently maintain our library inventory of books.
With more than 1 billion people visiting public libraries each year, having an easy-to-read system is vital so that we can find the exact location of the books we hope to read.
DEWEY DECIMAL SYSTEM DAY HISTORY
Melvil Dewey, the creator of the famous Dewey Decimal System that classifies mostly non-fiction books and library resources, was born on December 10, 1851 in New York and this date has been adopted to celebrate and honor him annually for System Day. Decimal Dewey. .
Dewey created his proprietary library resource classification system while working in the Amherst College library at the age of 21. The Dewey Decimal System was first published in 1876 and is now the most widely used system worldwide in more than 200,000 libraries in 135 countries. The twentieth edition of the system was published in the late twentieth century.
The system allows us to locate resources by topic assigned to one of the 10 classes. The top 10 groups are 000–099, General Works; 100-199, philosophy and psychology; 200-299, religion; 300–399, social studies; 400–499, language; 500–599, science and math; 600–699, technology; 700–799, the arts; 800–899, literature and rhetoric; and 900–999, history, biography, and geography.
Each class is further classified into 10 hierarchical divisions which are then subcategorized into 10 sections. The Dewey system numerical classification provides an abbreviated location and identification tool. The notation lends itself to memory through constant repetition of a standard pattern (arrangement of areas, different numbers for particular languages) through parallel subject developments, and repetition of standard subdivision patterns, such as theory, history, geography, etc.
It is hard to believe that more than 100 years have passed since the original introduction of the Dewey decimal system. Today, Americans review an average of 7 items from their local libraries each year, so the need for order continues. The digital age made obsolete the beautiful card catalog cabinets that contained the index cards with the decimal classification. Interestingly, Dewey also helped create the chips themselves. The same year that he created the decimal system, Dewey founded the Library Bureau, a company that sells index cards and filing cabinets.
DEWEY DECIMAL SYSTEM DAY SCHEDULE
1933 – Library for African Americans
America’s first library is established for and by African Americans in Philadelphia.
1753 – Public libraries come to life
While the first vision for a national library was suggested in 1556 in the UK, the idea did not take off until 1753 when it was opened to the public as part of the British Museum.
284-260 BC – The largest library
Zenodotus is the first recorded librarian in history at the Library of Alexandria in Egypt, which was one of the largest and most important libraries in the ancient world until it was believed to have been burned down.
668 – 630 BC – Ancient knowledge
The Ashurbanipal Library in Iraq is believed to be one of the oldest libraries in the world.
DEWEY DECIMAL SYSTEM DAY FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is 398.2 in the Dewey decimal system?
Library section 398.2 is numbered in accordance with the Dewey Decimal System, which organizes the book collections of public libraries and school libraries into subject categories to facilitate locating literary materials.
Do you still use the Dewey decimal system?
Dewey remains by far the most widely used book organizing system in the world. More than 200,000 libraries in 135 countries currently use the system, according to estimates reported by the Chicago Tribune.
How do you classify books using the Dewey decimal system?
The Dewey Decimal system is a classification system used by libraries to organize books by subject. Each book is assigned a shelf mark number, which is usually found on the spine of the book and is arranged in numerical order.
HOW TO CELEBRATE DEWEY DECIMAL SYSTEM DAY
Visit your local library
See the Dewey decimal system in action at your local library. Ask one of the librarians for her opinion on how efficient the system is and how many questions she receives every day in helping patrons find books.
Take the Dewey Decimal Challenge
Read one book from each of Dewey’s 10 decimal categories. This is like a book club on steroids! Invite members of your book club or friends in general to read.
Plan a stay at the Library hotel
The Library Hotel in Midtown Manhattan, New York, is a boutique hotel inspired by the Dewey decimal system. Each of its 10 guest floors is tied to one of 10 Dewey Decimal categories with 50-150 books in every room with over 6,000 throughout the hotel. Yes, you can request a particular category for your stay.
5 AMAZING FACTS ABOUT GLOBAL LIBRARIES
The old library
One of the most beautiful libraries in the world, the Long Room of the Old Dublin Library, Trinity College of Ireland has been a functioning library since 1732.
Instead of old, musty-smelling books, the Osmotheque in Versailles, France, is a perfume library with more than 3,000 scents.
The Vatican Apostolic Archive
Created by Pope Paul V in 1612, the Vatican Secret Archive (now Apostolic) contains the private papal collection of documents such as correspondence and account books or records.
The Conjuring Arts Research Center, a library dedicated to magic, tricks, and related topics, opened in Manhattan, New York in 2003.
Bats to the rescue
A colony of bats resides in the Rococó Library in Portugal, so while the library is closed at night, bats eat insects that damage books!
WHY WE LOVE THE DEWEY DECIMAL SYSTEM
We love to be organized
Sure, the OCD world thanks Dewey for helping us with our concern for order and accuracy, but even those struggling with literacy couldn’t get around a library without the help of his classification system. Who doesn’t love to put a little order out of chaos?
We love a good scavenger hunt.
If simply wishing for order isn’t your thing, maybe it’s the thrill of the hunt! If you need to entertain kids – or adults – for a day, pretend you’re looking for buried treasure and see who can find the books you need faster.
We love consistency
Used in more than 135 countries around the world, the Dewey decimal system has brought consistency to libraries around the world. The Arabic number system that he uses is commonly understood in all cultures.