[Library Media] Library girl - this guy's perspective

Heather Tomlinson htomlinson at mountainvilleacademy.org
Thu Dec 19 15:41:30 MST 2013

I agree - Dewey is much too useful to abandon...

However - I'm with James Wilson (previous message thread) who asked if any
of you have decided to organize fiction by genre.  How did it go?  Are you
glad you did it?  Any pointers for anyone else considering it?

I'm in a K-9 school, and have divided the library into two sections.  One
for everyone (K-9, but focused on K-2) and one for 3-9 only.  I think genre
shelving could be VERY useful for the older fiction section.  BUT, then I
think about logistics: multi genre books?  labeling books (in the catalog
and on the spine)?  library volunteers who already struggle with two
fiction sections (even adults...)?

On Thu, Dec 19, 2013 at 2:06 PM, Joseph Nielsen <
Joseph.Nielsen at slcschools.org> wrote:

>  It is entirely possible that the posting of this article came at a bad
> time for people to respond. I know I am having brain overload and working
> on mega doses of caffeine right now. (Ever tried putting a chunk of baking
> cocoa on your mouth and using Jolt Cola to slowly melt it? That will make
> you wired higher than Calvin & Hobbes.) So don’t get too bent out of shape
> when the replies slowly trickle in.
> And I agree with Marianne Bates, if your Principal doesn’t have a clue
> about what you do, you have no one to blame but yourself (unless your
> administrator is just totally clueless).
> But I’m not so sure that I see huge value in abandoning Dewey. Having
> worked in one of Utah’s largest independent retail bookstores for 8 years
> before becoming a librarian, I can tell you that genres are very arbitrary,
> can be very difficult to assign, and sometimes so large as to be
> overwhelming. Take, for instance, one of my favorite books to read to 5thgraders who are studying American History, “Mountain Man, the story of Hugh
> Glass.” It is written as fiction, but his experience and all the principle
> events described in the book are firmly established as historical facts.
> It’s the details that were created to tell the story. So do you classify it
> as Historical, Biographical, or Western? Do you use Explorers, Mountain
> Men, or US  History? And since it does tell the story of an historical
> event – do you perhaps even put it in Non-fiction, as I have seen some
> catalogs do? Any one of those classifications could be overwhelming in size.
> The whole idea of Dewey is to be genre oriented, Mammals have their place,
> Weather has its place, Fairy tales, and Myths are separated between the
> 200’s and the 300’s. If you are worried about whether a book is in the
> right place you can decide for yourself how you want to align the
> classification of Dewey to fit your library and your readers. There is no
> governing body that is going to come to your library and condemn, or down
> grade it just because you chose to put the book about the movie Dinosaur
> under 781 instead of 567 where the CIP put it. Make your own choices and
> decide these things for yourself.
> And all this comes with the added bonus of helping students learn to use
> decimals.
> Joseph R. Nielsen
> Library Technology Teacher
> Hawthorne Elementary
> Salt Lake City School District
> Scanned By Microsoft Forefront Online Protection for Exchange
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> library-media mailing list
> library-media at lists.uen.org
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Mountainville Academy Library Catalog  Destiny <>
 (accessible from any computer in the school building)

*Heather Tomlinson*
Mountainville Academy
Alpine, Utah
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