April 23, 2014

Massachusetts: “Oakmont Regional High Librarian Eyes Ditching Dewey Decimal System…”

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From The Sentinel & Enterprise (Fitchburg, MA):

Books about homosexuality are on the same shelf as books on incest and prostitution.

Homer’s “Iliad” is in the nonfiction section.

The works of Shakespeare and books on Elizabethan culture are nowhere near each other.

“I think it’s troubling,” said Jeff Aubuchon, the librarian at Oakmont Regional High School. “I’m worried about the message that sends.”

To solve the problem, and to improve the organization of the library’s book collection, Aubuchon has decided to abandon the Dewey Decimal System. Instead, the library is creating its own classification system that Aubuchon said will bear a closer resemblance to how books are organized in a typical Barnes & Noble.

Under the “Spartan System,” named for the school’s mascot, the numbers stuck to the books’ spines would be peeled off or covered with new color-coded topic labels. Books will be organized by the school’s classroom subjects.

The article also includes comments from other librarians about DDC and a six minute video interview with Aubuchon.

Note: We’re working to find out if Aubochon plans to incorportate any BISAC with “Spartan System”

BISAC (Book Industry Standards and Communications) is used in some bookstores and as we’ve mentioned in past posts is now being used by a few libraries.

See Also: Are Dewey’s Days Numbered?: Libraries Nationwide Are Ditching the Old Classification System (via School Library Journal; September 28, 2012)

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Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.