Pipestone County Star - 02-26-2015
So there’s a particular non-fiction book you want to find and coming to the library seems so overwhelming. There are a LOT of books in non-fiction and they’re not organized in alphabetical order. Turns out, there’s three choices for libraries to select from when shelving the non-fiction collection: the Dewey Decimal system, the Library of Congress system, and BISAC, which is mainly used in retail.
Dewey Decimal System:
This is how Meinders Library organizes their non-fiction. The Dewey Decimal System is relatively easy to understand, but not completely logical. It uses numbers from 001 to 999, with up to four decimal places (so 001.0001 to 999.9999). 001 starts off with computers and the internet, and 990 is the section for the History of Other Regions, namely Australia. We have basic guides that we would be happy to give any patron who asked and all our endcaps are marked with the numbers corresponding to those shelves. The more you use it, the more numbers you can remember: 921 is biography, 811 is poetry, 636.1 is horse books, etc.
Library of Congress:
Government entities and many academic libraries use the system developed by the Library of Congress. The system relies on using most of the letters of the alphabet to designate basic subject areas. Within each of those subject areas are sub-categories indicated by another letter, then a series of numbers to place that book in its exact location. SB423.T46 1965 is a book titled Goldfish Pools, Water-lilies, and Tropical Fishes. S = Agriculture, B=Plant Culture, 423 indicates the class of plants. If you search the Library of Congress catalogue, anything that begins SB423 is about ponds and their foliage. T46 places the book into order with all the other books in that category (extremely confusing – check out Wikipedia “Library of Congress Classification” for an entire list of their subject headings).
Do you find it easy to search for a book at Barnes and Noble? They use BISAC for their organization. BISAC stands for Book Industry Standards and Communication. There are fifty categories for non-fiction, ranging from Antiques and Collectibles to True Crime. There are sections for drama, poetry, pets, education, self-help, etc. Within each of those categories, books are arranged alphabetically by author. Rather than having numbers on the spine, they have a listed section.
Some libraries have already done away with the top two methods of organization in favor of BISAC, including another joint-use (city, county, and school) library in Maricopa County, Arizona and the McMillan Memorial Library in Wisconsin.
As much as I love the idea of BISAC, Plum Creek requires that we use the Dewey Decimal system in our library. Do you think it’s easier or harder to find books that way? Feel free to weigh in on Facebook or Twitter using #bisacvsdewey.
NOTE: If this article looks familiar, you might have read it before. The majority of this article was published 05-24-2012 in the Pipestone County Star. As Stephanie is recovering from knee surgery, she is recycling a few articles for the month of March. She begs forgiveness.
Winter Weather: We tend to follow the lead of Pipestone Area Schools. If the school is closed, we will also be closed. If the school closes early, we stay open for about a half hour afterwards to make sure all the kids can get picked up. If the school has a two hour late start, we are not affected and will open at our regular time of 10 AM.
PAFL Update: Pipestone Area Friends of the Library is looking for members – anyone who is a friend to Meinders Library is welcome to join! The Friends group works hard to promote the library, raise money for projects, and organize their yearly book sale, in addition to the HUGE amount of support they provide throughout the year. Call us for the date of the next meeting!
If you have questions or have a book you’d like to reserve or renew, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at (507) 825-6714. The summer hours for Meinders Library are Monday through Thursday from 10 AM – 8 PM, Friday from 10 AM – 5 PM, and Saturday from 10AM to Noon. Meinders Community Library is located at 1401 7th Street SW, on the south side of the high school.