* Library Organization

LIBRARIES ARE ORGANIZED

 

NONFICTION

  1. How can you tell? There are numbers on the spine.
  2. What books go in this section? All of them!
  3. Who devised this system? Melvil Dewey in the 1870s.  (Click HERE to learn more!)

 

FICTION

  1. How can you tell? There is an ‘F’ and the first three letters of the author’s name on the spine.
  2. What books go in this section? Novels: made-up stories divided into chapters.
  3. How are they organized? In alphabetical order by author’s last name.
  4. Why are these books not in the nonfiction section? They could be in the 800s but there are so many of them that it was easier for patrons to find the authors they want this way. In the nonfiction section, authors from different countries have different numbers.

 

PICTURE BOOKS

  1. How can you tell? There is a large letter on the spine that matches the first letter in the author’s last name.
  2. What books go in this section? Short illustrated stories – both true and false – in which the pictures are integral to the story. They tend to be rather thin books with big pages.
  3. How are they organized? In alphabetical order by the first letter of the author’s last name.
  4. Why are these books not in the nonfiction section? Some could be in the 800s and others could be in the 920s. Others could be in various places in the nonfiction section. But these books tend to be much bigger than other books and so it is easier to shelve them separately. And in the nonfiction section, authors from different countries have different numbers, so patrons would have to remember countries as well as names of authors.

 

REFERENCE

  1. How can you tell? There is a large ‘R’ on the spine.
  2. What books go in this section? Large expensive books that people use to look up information. People generally don’t usually read these books from beginning to end. And patrons may not borrow them.
  3. How are they organized? It depends on the person in charge of the library.
  4. Why are these books not in the nonfiction section? People tend to want to quickly come in and look up some information and need the books quickly available. So they are always available for use in the library. Often, nowadays, people go online to find information found in reference books, so many library do not buy so many of them anymore.

 

[This page may be copied for use with students if this credit is provided: ©2015 Sophie Rosen.]

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