PLA 2018: Ditching Dewey

Ditching Dewey: How to Make Searching Your Collecting Engaging, Not Enraging. | Saturday, March 24, 2018, 10:45 AM with Cumberland (RI) Public Library
Handouts: Download 1   Download 2   Download 3   Download 4   Download 5   Download 6   #takebackthestacks

(Something that’s been on my To Do list, in our Strategic Plan, and in the budget since 2017…so here’s hoping this will be sufficiently motivating.  Related reading: The Dewey Dilemma from LJ, Five Steps to Ditching Dewey, Ditching Dewey: Choosing Genre Categories)

Melissa – worked at B&N before becoming a reference librarian. Danielle a research assistant with bookstore/media/movie/blockbuster store experience and inventory control and logistics background.

The Browse Method – can be used on any ILS in any consortium.  Color coding and plain English.

Benefits: Markham Public Library did a C3 classification system and did before/after research: Shelving productivity up 475% and Item retrieval time reduced 346%. Circulation rose exponentially.   Collection Maintenance benefits – Like with like, horrifying to see gaps and obvious weeds.  Customizable to each environment.  Pull out those items your community uses more often – cookbooks, travel books, etc.  Get more non-users back in the door. Happy Patrons and low cost. Spine labels, overlays, and staff time.  $2,800 for 21,000 titles – not free, but affordable.

Why?

Lack of comfort with Dewey – what does this mean? Why are they in so many different places? I don’t get how this works, I’m just going to go buy it on Amazon! Antiquated system (1876 for closed stacks) = LJ survey from 2009 – patrons have a trouble understanding the online catalog because call numbers don’t make any sense to them.  Dewey wasn’t meant for patron use! How can we be 21st century libraries with an out-of-date foundation that was never meant for patron use?

Kudos to these innovators: Maricopa Library – BISAC at all 19 | Rangeview Library District | Darien | Nyack | Groveland | Markham

Created a worst case scenario, based on research.  For example, kept the Dewey number in the record but hidden (in case it needed to come back).

Keep call numbers – Finder numbers – same place on the shelf, every time. Took 52 subjects divided into 9 main categories and are color coded by spine overlay.

IMG_3006The major categories – 0000 to 9999. Numbers do not repeat. Room for growth. Find books in 3 ways: Numerical cal number. Clearly identified categories, color coded and in plain English.

Works with any ILS – work with System to make global changes and make macros to help save time in creating new call numbers. End panels with vinyl letters – easier to shift end-caps. Extras to make it better – main out of pocket cost is labels. Demco tinted label protectors. Lighter colors are more usable. Personnel time – so logistics and only touch items once. How do you make this happen – Key buy-in from Director, department heads, and staff. Selling points: easier for everyone, including us. Not overnight…long-term project. Time to adjust, customizable, get input on how to implement (categories). Not at Tech Services project, because they didn’t have to do it!  Work with those involved.  Board buy-in – be realistic with hours it will take, but remember the end game. Community buy-in – communicate and keep them in the loop. They want the library to be user friendly and to come in and NOT feel dumb.  Used passive programs to test theories.  What should we call this?  Ask them to help and get their interest in the process. (vote, see samples). Questions asked: Self-help v. self-improvement.  Arts, transportation, architecture, and true crime – where would you look for these books (vote with a slip). Architecture was a hot mess, but the rest were ‘spot on.’

Physical work to change the collection: Weed until it hurts and then weed a little more. Weeded books are crying because their work is done!

Process:

  1. Pre-label your book – speed through the process. Use staff to the best of their abilities and interests to help with the process. Use Worksheets – simplified process: According to layout sheet, where do you think the book goes?  Ex: Art > Painting > Watercolor and the 4-digit number or True Crime > 8002 People & Places > Law Enforcement (tertiary line: racial profiling) Keeps books together
  2. Staging Process – Start with a section, so staff can see the final product. Keep it moving, not sitting dead in the office. House & Home > 2601 > Cleaning.  2008 Arch HisPres instead of 720.97 and 724.23 and 693.1 and 694.1 and 728 – Historic Preservation books now all together!
  3. Patrons don’t care how you organize it, just as long as it is consistent within the library.  Flow of the library.  You may want to use a test area to work out the details of the process (or beta test with LP or DVD collection).  Pulled out graphic novel collection. Food network stars together or apart? Yes, put star chefs face out!  Ask patrons.  Go through the stacks and decide which books stay put and which will be moved with new friends and neighbors.
  4. IMG_3007Moving Time – Print the labels, put them on the spine, team up, check and double check. Person 1 put it in catalog and print. 2nd person checks accuracy and set aside questions to discuss. Dewey can go in 099 or 092 (hide one, use the other). Where will OUR patron LOOK for this? Final decision… colored label color and then put them back out.

Free to any library (after June 1). Details on web site – cumberlandlibrary.org/browse-method

Adaptable to children’s collection – but not there yet. Remember “A library is a living organism”

Q&A – Can you move full collections, maybe out of order? Try to get the books shifted first – and then label. Ask pages – what do you think of this and the arrangement?

Ingram can pre-process at a cost, but can add a note when you order about the call number.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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