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At 12:40 PM 5/31/2007 -0400, you wrote:
>Date:    Thu, 31 May 2007 12:40:28 -0400
>From:    sarah <sarah.ludwig@GMAIL.COM>
>Subject: Re: Dewey Decimal System eliminated in new Arizona library.
. . .
>Why not put all the
>books on baseball in one place, no matter what the *specific* topic
>(individual players vs. how-tos vs. the economics of the game, etc.),

Someone else might say, why not put all the books on economics in one 
place, even if the specific topic is the economics of baseball, or of auto 
manufacturing, or or international trade?

Someone else might say, why not put all biographies in one place, whether 
the subject of the biography is a baseball player, a writer, or a business 

Someone else might say, why not put all instructional manuals (how-to 
books) in one place, whether the topic is coaching baseball, building a 
redwood deck, or designing an accounting system?

Interesting thought . . . but perhaps problematic, as everyone would have 
his or her own system, which is the problem that major systems like Dewey 
and Library of Congress address.  Multiple topic listings let patrons look 
up by multiple topics.  Seems reasonable.  Look up the topic of interest, 
jot down the call numbers, and find the books in their proper 
places.  Maybe some "see also" references help the patron to find some 
related books of interest that are not exactly on topic.

By the way . . . a few decades ago, the California State Library switched 
from Dewey to Library of Congress. Rather than renumbering the books 
already on the shelves, the library started a new section numbered 
according to LoC.  That section of course expanded and expanded and 
expanded over the years, as the Dewey section shrank somewhat through 
weeding. The Deweys are on the lower floors (if not all in the basement 
now), but still in their own section.  The stacks are closed, so mostly it 
is the librarians and paging personnel who are affected by the layout.


Ken Umbach
Columnist, Knowledge Quest
Policy Analyst, California Research Bureau, California State Library
Writer, editor, researcher, consultant,
916-733-2159 -- voice mail
"The Pursuit of Publishing":

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