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Beauregard Parish Library

Knowledge, Growth, Imagination

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Find It Friday - The Dewey Decimal System

Libraries are great for finding something for a bit of recreational reading, but they're also meant to be helpful resource when you need to find out how to do something, or when you just want or need to know more about something in general. Surprisingly enough, the Beauregard Parish Library does indeed have a large collection of books devoted to that purpose! (I know, big surprise, it's only like a third of the shelves!)

The Card Catalog computers will help you locate things, if you need something specific, but sometimes you might just feel like browsing through an area to see what kinds of things you didn't even know you didn't know about!

And that's where the Dewey Decimal system comes in. Originally developed by Melvil Dewey in the 1870s, it lets librarians to find just where a book goes on the shelves. It also lets patrons who are interested in a topic find more books related to the one they might have just read on the topic.

The Dewey Decimal System starts off by giving all books a number. These numbers were originally all just three digits, but as knowledge expanded, librarians tacked on a decimal point and just started adding digits. The most useful of these digits, though, is the first one, which breaks up things into their broadest categories:

000-099 General works Here you'll find things like encyclopedias, computers, UFOs, and other random topics that don't fit in the other sections.
100-199 Philosophy and Psychology What's the meaning of life? Why do people think strange things? What's depression really like? and other important topics.
200-299 Religion and Religious Thinking The Bible, the Koran, the I Ching, the writings of Confucious, the Buddha, various saints and theologians - it's all in here.
300-399 Social Sciences Sociology, Political Science, Economics, the Law, Education, Social Services, Customs and Etiquette.
400-499 Languages Various languages, studies about languages and how they relate to each other.
500-599 Pure and Theoretical Science Physics, Chemistry, Astronomy, Math, Geology, Paleontology, Biology, etc.
600-699 Applied Science, Technology, Engineering Medicine, Agriculture, Cook Books, Construction, Housekeeping, Business practices, etc.
700-799 Arts & Recreation Painting, sculpture, dance, landscaping, architecture, photography, music, sports
800-899 Literature Poetry, drama, essays, speeches, all in a variety of languages. Some libraries actually file their entire fiction collection in this area.
900-999 History, Geography, Biographies Some specific categories commonly looked for: 920: biographies and 921: autobiographies. Geography and Genealogy. 999 is even reserved for histories of extraterrestrial worlds!

There's all kinds of fun stuff in the non-fiction section of the Library! Please come in and explore a while!

Posted Friday August 19, 2016 09:00am

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