The Straight Dope on Librarians


Jaclyn Mussehl writes "Another library-related article from
The Straight Dope
, this time about the Dewey Decimal System."


The Straight Dope article mentions one of the brilliant professors I had at FSU, Dr. Wiegand. While the good doctor and I have different political philosophies we have had some very interesting discussions. I recall our going away party for our former Dean Robbins (who moved to WNY) that occured during ALA in Orlando that Dr. Wiegand can both illuminate his position and entertain even those who do not share his opinion, the hallmark of a great mind.

This was a very good article from The Straight Dope, well done I say.

Of course I use a colon classification system at home just because... well just because I can. Do all librarians catalog their home libraries?

Yes, I do arrange my books according to a broad definition of DDC. In my fits of attempting to organize my non-fiction books, it helps. Also, did anyone else notice the error in this paragraph:"A hallmark of DDC is the use of consistent subclassifications and mnemonics regardless of category. For example, 73 usually refers to the U.S., on both sides of the decimal point; thus, U.S. cooking is 631.5973 and U.S. history is 973. In contrast, LCC subclassifications have no consistency from one class to the next."I'm feeling very anal for a non-cataloging librarian.

I don't actually catalogue my books at home but they are seperated according to subject (for non-fic) and my fic is on seperate book cases from my non fic (space requirements).

Now, when I was a kid--I used to make spine labels for my books and put them on with tape. Is it any surprise when I went to a career search seminar in my early 20s that one of my suited careers was librarian? (The other was photographer, go figure).


I think the main problem with Dewey is just that, it is too old... and inflexible.

Some poor guy went off on me several months ago because 200-289 covers Christianity, and the rest of the world's belief systems get 290-299. He thought this a travesty, and that it was our library's doing, but I had to explain that it was just an outdated, but widespread classification system.

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