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Dewey or Don’t We ~ a Summary

Posted By TSRT Communication and Web Coordinator, Thursday, November 6, 2008
Updated: Tuesday, June 16, 2015

[Guest writer: Sheryl Williams]

Dewey or Don’t We?
Presented by Becky Baker, Seward Memorial Library; Kim McCain, Tri-county Schools; and Hilary Sire, Barnes & Noble

This panel presentation concerned the planning involved and implementation of the change from a Dewey-organization to a subject-based organization in the Seward Memorial Library. This was a well-attended panel, with almost 100 people attending.

The process of reassigning a shelf location involved all staff; everyone contributed to the development of the subject areas. An “authority file” of main subject headings was determined, such as:
New Age
Sports, etc

These areas were sub-divided, then the author listed, and finally the first word of the title.
For Tom Osborne’s book, What it means to be a Husker, the spine label now reads

The primary consideration before this is undertaken is to determine if users were browsing or research oriented. Also, what are the capabilities of the automated system? Shelves must be clearly marked with the subjects displayed.

This is working well for the Seward Memorial Library.

“Librarians like to think that we're indispensable. While I think that is true to a point, I don't think we should continue to propagate the idea that we're indispensable by keeping a complicated cataloging system.” -- Michael Casey

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