Understanding Dewey! Everything you wanted to know about finding materials in the library media center!
It was during the 1800’s that libraries were beginning to spring up around the country. The printing press had made more and more books available to the general public, and more and more people were learning to read.
A Problem Evolves
Melvil Dewey was a very bright but frustrated librarian. As more and more books were added to his library collection, he found it difficult to locate materials.
Being a resourceful young man, he decided to create a standardized numbering system for classifying nonfiction books in a library.
How Should Dewey Start?
Dewey wanted a system that put subjects into ten basic areas. (That’s because our numbering system is based on “ten”.) He wanted each book to have a specific number on the book spine so that the book would have a specific location on a library shelf.
If he used decimals with his base ten numbering system, he figured he could create detailed numbers for detailed subjects.