Friday, June 17, 2011

Adios, Dewey. Hello, Chaos.

We're saying "Adios" to Dewey. Our non-fiction collection doesn't see a lot of use other than for research projects. We've got some great stuff in there, and I want kids to pick up and explore these books for FUN! (Especially with the informational text emphasis in the new Common Core Standards.)

To help stimulate increased interest in the area, we're eliminating the Dewey Decimal System and moving to genre classification -- a more "Barnes and Noble" style approach. Our kids still haven't mastered the Dewey by the time they reach 8th grade and I don't have time to reteach it. So, to make our collection more accessible, we're just going to get rid of it. Our fiction books are already shelved by genre, so doing the same in non-fiction makes sense (for us).

This isn't exactly a new idea. Libraries around the country have started to move towards a Dewey-Free system. Here's a few places with this set-up already in action: Frankfort Public Library District, Albany Public Library, and Tates Creek Media Center. One of our elementary libraries went Dewey-Free last summer, and they've been very happy with the results. So, I decided it was time for us to jump on board.

We'll explore our process and more of our rationale at a later date, but I thought I'd share the current chaos with you. We've got about 2,500 books to relabel and relocate and exactly 8 days to get it done. I was really nervous on Tuesday afternoon and decided I was in over my head - it was total chaos.

Above: Going Dewey Free - The Chaos

Above: Going Dewey Free - Piles and Piles!

But, we've made rapid progress!! With four days to go, we're more than halfway done. We've managed to assemble an amazing team of helpers - it's going so much faster than it would if I'd tried to tackle the project by myself over summer vacation.

Above: The first sign of progress!

Stay tuned for progress updates!

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