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Thanks so much for all your responses to my question about how widely the
Dewey Decimal System is being used. It truly is a worldwide system, and I
received responses from many countries. Sally Lantz was particularly
helpful, since she asked a similar question last year (I hadn't gone back
far enough in my archive search). But thanks also goes to Earl J. Moniz,
Mary Reynolds, Jon Noble, Elizabeth Bentley, Jana-Ruth Achbach, Richard R.
Shook, Juliann T. Moskowitz, Srisuwan Charoenthongtrakul, and Dr.Margarita
Castrogiovanni for their responses.

I think that I will incorporate this information into my Dewey classes,
maybe have a wall map with pins or dots marking various countries. I used to
say that "wherever you go, the subject numbers were the same - whether in
San Jose, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Chicago, etc." Now I can add other
countries to that list!

You guys are the best!

Kathy Clark
Librarian/Teacher, Lower School
The Harker School
San Jose, California

e-mail: kathyc@harker.org

The list of countries in which the Dewey Decimal system is used in schools
is below, with other specific (edited) comments following. There obviously
are more countries that would use DDC, but this list really shows the
worldwide scope.

United Arab Emirates (and other Middle East countries)
South Africa
United Kingdom

Also look at the various languages in which Dewey is published (courtesy of
OCLC/Forest Press, by way of Richard Shook):

"Translations of the DDC:"

Arabic/Tunisia/published 1998;
Chinese/China/in preparation;

Greek/Greece/in preparation;
Hebrew/Israel/in preparation;
Icelandic/Iceland/in preparation;
Italian/Italy/1993 & 1995;

Korean/Korea/in preparation;
Norwegian/Norway/being prepared;

Russian/Russia/being prepared;
Spanish/Florida/expected late 1999;

Earl J. Moniz: The National Library in the United Arab Emirates uses the
Dewey... and
would many other Middle East countries I suppose...
I'm not there now... was there last year...

In South Africa I would say that all schools that use a system (and
that have a library in which to use it) use Dewey.

Mary Reynolds

I don't really have any idea, Dewey is pretty universal however, but
here is site that at least refers to a few others
I had a book on classification at my previous school that went into
considerable detail - alas.

Jon Noble

I asked this same question to LM_NET within the last couple of
years :-)  It is an awesome thought to think that
libraries/librarians all over the world use the same system!  The
responses that I received indicated that Dewey is used all over
the world and in most school and public libraries.  Colleges and
universitites tend to use LOC and Jewish libraries use a
classification system designed for their unique collections.
Bottom line is that not *all* libraries use Dewey but most do and
that it is used all over the world.

Sally Lantz

From Sally's posting of 9/20/98: "I heard from South Africa (two different
people), Australia (two different people),Japan (who had also worked in
Lebanon), the UK, Malta, Peru, and Slovenia!
Although the respondants were few in number, they covered a very wide
geographical area!

*All* said that the DDS is used in schools, public libraries, and most
college/university libraries.  One reported that the LOC is used in the
and one reported that her media center at a Jewish Day School uses the Weine
which was designed specifically to classify libraries with large Jewish

Dewey is used in the public library system in the UK, but academic
libraries may use Universal Decimal Classification or Bliss. I
believe UDC is also used widely in Europe, at least in academia.

Elizabeth Bentley

I posted a similar question not too long ago and the replies I received
indicated that Dewey seemed to be used in "most" places, with a few other
country-specific systems as well.  Unfortunately, no one named or described
of the other systems, so I'm afraid I'm not much help.  I am still looking
which cataloging systems are in use in Germany.  If you find that
please forward it to me.   TIA!

Jana-Ruth Achbach

I think British national library
and French Bibliotheque Nationale are separate systems
from Dewey/LC.

richard shook


I took a cataloging class last year and we learned all about modern and
defunct cataloging system. Dewey and LC are use world wide but some
countries in Europe use the Universal Decimal System. It is also know by
other names in Europe. It is very similar to Dewey.

Juliann T. Moskowitz

We are an International School in Bangkok, Thailand.  We serve students
from greades K-12 and have two libraries in the school.  We use Dewey
System for our cataloging.  As far as I know, other international schools
in this country are also using the Dewey System.  The other schools,
government and public school also use the same system.  Some universities
use LC system due to the number of collections.

I hope this help.

Srisuwan Charoenthongtrakul

The German Society of Philadelphia used to use a German system of
classification.  I do not know anything about it, but it looked a little
like LC.

Write for more information

Dr.Margarita Castrogiovanni, Librarian

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