Module 5: Basic Dewey

How are resources arranged in your library?

Library Organization

Once you know what type of resource you need and the topic, how do you locate the materials in the library? Is your library arranged by Dewey or another system?

Familiarize yourself with the organization of materials in the library. This helps you locate a particular resource, but will also allow you to go quickly to the best area for browsing the shelves in the reference collection or throughout the library.

Dewey Decimal Classification (The DDC)

Most public libraries arrange the books on their shelves using Dewey Decimal Classification, the DDC. This is a numerical arrangement which puts books on the same subject together on the shelves. Individual libraries often add letters relating to the author’s name after the Dewey numbers.

Some libraries, especially larger ones and academic libraries, use a different system developed by the Library of Congress. It uses a combination of letters and numbers and you may see this used on books you borrow from other libraries.

The Dewey Decimal Classification

DDC First Summary
Ten Main Classes

000  Computer science, information & general works
100  Philosophy & psychology
200  Religion
300  Social sciences
400  Language
500  Science
600  Technology
700  Arts & Recreation
800  Literature
900  History

Dewey Second Summary
The Hundred Divisions

000  Computer science, knowledge & systems
010  Bibliographies
020  Library & information sciences
030  Encyclopedias & books of facts
040  [Unassigned]
050  Magazines, journals & serials
060  Associations, organizations & museums
070  News media, journalism & publishing
080  Quotations
090  Manuscripts & rare books

100  Philosophy
110  Metaphysics
120  Epistemology
130  Parapsychology & occultism
140  Philosophical schools of thought
150  Psychology
160  Logic
170  Ethics
180  Ancient, medieval & eastern philosophy
190  Modern western philosophy

200  Religion
210  Philosophy & theory of religion
220  The Bible
230  Christianity & Christian theology
240  Christian practice & observance
250  Christian pastoral practice & religious orders
260  Christian organization, social work & worship
270  History of Christianity
280  Christian denominations
290  Other religions

300  Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
310  Statistics
320  Political science
330  Economics
340  Law
350  Public administration & military science
360  Social problems & social services
370  Education
380  Commerce, communications & transportation
390  Customs, etiquette & folklore

400  Language
410  Linguistics
420  English & Old English languages
430  German & related languages
440  French & related languages
450  Italian, Romanian & related languages
460  Spanish & Portuguese languages
470  Latin & Italic languages
480  Classical & modern Greek languages
490  Other languages

500  Science
510  Mathematics
520  Astronomy
530  Physics
540  Chemistry
550  Earth sciences & geology
560  Fossils & prehistoric life
570  Life sciences; biology
580  Plants (Botany)
590  Animals (Zoology)

600  Technology
610  Medicine & health
620  Engineering
630  Agriculture
640  Home & family management
650  Management & public relations
660  Chemical engineering
670  Manufacturing
680  Manufacture for specific uses
690  Building & construction

700  Arts
710  Landscaping & area planning
720  Architecture
730  Sculpture, ceramics & metalwork
740  Drawing & decorative arts
750  Painting
760  Graphic arts
770  Photography & computer art
780  Music
790  Sports, games & entertainment

800  Literature, rhetoric & criticism
810  American literature in English
820  English & Old English literatures
830  German & related literatures
840  French & related literatures
850  Italian, Romanian & related literatures
860  Spanish & Portuguese literatures
870  Latin & Italic literatures
880  Classical & modern Greek literatures
890  Other literatures

900  History
910  Geography & travel
920  Biography & genealogy
930  History of ancient world (to ca. 499)
940  History of Europe
950  History of Asia
960  History of Africa
970  History of North America
980  History of South America
990  History of other areas

For information about the history and use of the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) and the Expanded Dewey table, consult the Dewey website which contains up-to-date information about the DDC, DDC products and services, and DDC licensing. OCLC owns all copyright rights in the Dewey Decimal Classification, and licenses the system for a variety of uses.

Major Point: Understanding the classification system used for your library’s collection or Web links will help you find resources quickly.

Exercise

  1. Locate the non-fiction areas in your library. Each area (reference, ready reference, children’s, videos, adult non-fiction, etc.) may be organized by Dewey.
  2. How many places in your library can you locate resources in the 900s?

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