Sunday, January 30, 2011

Literacy can be fun.

Are you a reader? I hope so, but you can just look at the pretty pictures above if you don't like to read. Pictures are good. Words are better. Lately it seems that I find references to literacy and reading wherever I go, whoever I talk to, whatever I listen to and whatever I read. There is a thread and that thread is literacy. Within in the past year our library system cut back on their hours of operation. I was saddened and frustrated. Saddened because I am old school and remember the "book mobile". It only came around once a month. Let me tell you, that day was a red banner day! I looked forward to the arrival of the book mobile more than anything else, especially in the summer. Summertime was great but no school meant no school library. Up would drive the book mobile! Yippeee!! I checked out the maximum number of books allowed. The reduction of hours frustrates me because I have limited time to access the library; after work or on Saturdays. Now my library time is really shortened to well, basically Saturday. I am a voracious reader and enjoy the process of the library, even if the Dewey decimal system is virtually extinct. That makes me sad too.

What is the Dewey Decimal System you ask? Well...let's see....

The Dewey Decimal Classification System (DDC) is a system that classifies or categorizes nonfiction books into ten main divisions.These classes are further divided into ten subdivisions and the use of decimals allows for additional categories. A book is assigned a Dewey number based on its subject matter. In most libraries the Dewey number and the first three letters of the author's last name become the book's call number. Nonfiction books are arranged numerically on the shelves according to DDC, ranging from 001 to 999.

The Dewey Decimal Classification System is the most widely used classification system in the world. Libraries in more than 135 countries use the DDC to organize and provide access to their collections. The DDC has been translated into over thirty languages. Libraries of every type apply Dewey numbers. Some Internet search engines use Dewey as a browsing mechanism.

Who invented the system? Well....let's see.....

American librarian Melvil Dewey (1851-1931) invented his famous decimal classification system for books in 1876; it became the standard in libraries around the world. If it weren't for Melvil Dewey, finding the books you want in the library might be as frustrating as looking for a needle in a haystack.

Dewey invented a system of grouping books of similar subjects together, classified by numbers. His invention,called the Dewey Decimal System, brought much-needed order to libraries.

Melvil Dewey, the youngest of five children, was born on December 10, 1851, in a small town in northern New York. As a child, he loved to organize and sort things and also had a talent for mathematics.

He attended Amherst College where he worked in the library to help pay for his education. Dewey was dismayed at the way books were arranged. Arrangements varied from library to library but in all cases, users had to look in many places to find books on the same subject. Melvil worked towards improving library classification systems. Combining his talent for math and his orderliness, he invented the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) System when he was twenty-one, working as a student assistant in the Amherst College Library. Upon graduation, he became a librarian at the college.

Before Dewey developed his classification system there was no uniform system used in libraries This irked Dewey, who liked order and simplicity. He developed a way to classify books that would work for all libraries. His work created a revolution in library science and set in motion a new era of librarianship. Melvil Dewey well deserves to be considered the father of modern librarianship.

1 comment:

  1. Read On! The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a good book, first of three.