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Dear Librarians,

Having just started a new job, and being faced with a daunting task of re-labeling 
the collection, I turned to you, dear librarians.? I received 35 answers and it 
sure made me feel supported and part of a community.? That was perfect for I felt 
so alone here - I really needed you - and you came through.? So thanks and Happy 
New Year.

My query was as follows:
?? In my new job I have discovered that there are no dewey decimals. Just 551 (not 
551.1, 551.2 etc.) You can imagine how hard it is to find a book on the shelf.? 
This will and must be changed.
?? Here's how I thought we should do it: My assistant,? Alex, will take 10 books 
off the shelf at a time, bring them to the desk, look at the verso page for correct 
dewey number - and modify catalog record.? Then print out the labels and re-label 
them at the desk, and then put them back on the shelf.
?? Evelyn, our volunteer, thinks we should print out a page (shelf list) with 
titles and call numbers of the entire collection (or a range at a time) and she (or 
I) can write the new dewey next to each title and then Alex can change them in the 
computer all at once and then print out the labels all at once and take the labels 
to the shelves, rather than handling all the books. 
?? Maybe she's right. What do you think is the best way?
Your advice ranged from strongly agreeing with Evelyn to stressing how important it 
is for me to handle the books personally, to a combination of both.

This is what I figured out was the best way.?? I print out a shelf list for one 
range of numbers (ie: 551).? I take the list to the shelf, and sit down and look at 
each book, the verso page for the dewey and also, to see what's what in my 
collection.? I then take the list to my desk and look for the questionable deweys 
on LOC, NYPL or Titlewave.? I complete the list with the new dewey numbers marked 
on it.? I decided to do all the dewey changes myself.? I give the list to my 
assistant, Alex.? He creates the labels.? Then he takes a laptop and scanner to the 
shelves and re-catalogs the call number at the shelf.

Thanks again, you're wonderful!

Rebecca Reitz
Science Technology Library 
New York Hall of Science
47-01 111th Street
Queens, NY 11368
Phone: 718.699.0005 ext.360, 340 and

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