June 8, 2009

Colorado Library Drops Dewey Decimal System

The six-branch Rangeview Library District, in Adams County, Colorado, will be the first library system in the country to drop the Dewey Decimal Classification, and change the way it shelves its material. In place of the 133-year old three-digit numeric system, the District will use a subject arrangement, adapted from the book industry.

From the Rangeview Library District blog:
"As part of Rangeview Library District’s “Customers First” philosophy, the district is replacing the 133-year-old Dewey Decimal Classification with its own WordThink system. This new method was generated from a retail-based standard for organizing materials. Similar to what you might see in a bookstore, materials are arranged by simple categories like history and science instead of the old numeric system. Customers are delighted at the ease of use of this new system, which is geared more towards browsing and helps customers find exactly what they need quickly and intuitively."

I like the idea, and have since I read about the Maricopa County Library District in Phoenix, Arizona, adopting a similar system two years ago. I think it makes more sense for our library users, which will help to increase library use.

What do you think?

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