or, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Fear and Loathing at a Public Library Reference Desk

Shelving By Dewey Guidelines

   June 28th, 2007

Melvil DeweyThis is about as far from Library 2.0 as you can get (and perhaps short-lived), but I created a quickie guide for putting books on the shelf according to the Dewey Decimal System.

My library has gotten a few new pages (people who put returned books back on the shelves) and shelf-readers (people who straighten the shelves and make sure the books are actually in order) recently, and when I started training them, found that we had no documentation on the Dewey Decimal System. We had a Dewey test they needed to pass before they were allowed to work, but nothing with which they could prepare for the test.

So I made up the handout below, as a quick overview/introduction to Dewey, and also a reference guide for them to keep with them in the stacks until they get the hang of it. It's designed for double-sided printing, and some of our shelvers even laminated it.

This handout is tailored for the Chelmsford Library, but feel free to modify the Word version to work best for your library. If you have any questions (or notice any mistakes), please let me know.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

7 Responses to “Shelving By Dewey Guidelines”

  1. Jill Eagen Says:

    I love your shelving directions, may I adapt for my library? Jill

  2. Brian Herzog Says:

    Absolutely – feel free to do whatever it takes to make it work for you. If you need any help, let me know.

  3. Gerard Says:

    Excellent. Thanks for making it available, this is a real time saver for me.

  4. Rose Bell Says:

    I hope you don’t mind if I include your instructions in my Moodle (online class) for my library aides (Hammond High School) to try to figure out how to shelve books. Some of them seem not to know their alphabet! I haven’t trusted them much with shelving.

  5. Brian Herzog Says:

    @Rose: Not at all – I hope it helps.

  6. Lindsay Wallace Says:

    Thanks for posting this – it has saved me loads of time!

    Manchester, UK

  7. Eileen Makoff Says:

    Thank you so much! I am the new librarian at a public school where the library has been shuttered for years and is therefore in total disrepair. I’m adapting this to use with the parent volunteers I’ve started to recruit. So helpful!