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The Cavemans Guide to the Dewey Decimal System

The Dewey Decimal Classification System:

So Simple, Even a Cave-person Can Do it! School Edition, 2010 1All Caveman Clipart: School Edition Demo. (n.d.). School Edition Demo. Retrieved June 19, 2010, from Melvil Dewey

The Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) is the most widely used library organization system in the world.

The system groups books by topic, dividing them into 10 main classes or categories. Each of those categories is sub-divided into 10 additional categories, with each division becoming more and more specific.

Dewey developed the DDC when he was just 21 years-oldas a student assistant librarian at Amherst College.

2Dewey created the DDC when he was a student assistant librarian at Amherst College. He was 21.He was a bit of an odd duck when it came to spelling; born Melville Louis Kossuth Dewey, he shortened his first name to Melvil and even shortened his last name to Dui because he wanted spelling simplified.How can one classify ALL knowledge?

Deweys Design Dewey created 10 main classes by thinking like a cave-person.

What questions would a cave-person ask?

3Think about how a caveman might begin to think intelligently about his world. That led Dewey to his order of classification. What do you think he would notice first? Second? 000s: General Information: Cave-Person wonders: Before I beginEncyclopediasReference Books, AlmanacsGuinness Book of World Records

031GLE School Edition, 2010 Numbers are on the spines of books

Library Journal, 2009 4Youve seen all those tags on the spine of the book before, right? The numbers tell you what section, and the letters generally tell you the author or editors last name.

Editors last name is Glendale, so GLE is added after the Dewey number since there will be so many items in the 031 section.

Which goes first on the shelves? The Conspiracy Theory one, because its number is 001, which comes before 031.

Now, what do you think a caveman would think about first? Who would he ask questions about?100s: Philosophy and Psychology School Edition, 2010


155.9GOOWho am I?Cave-Person thinks about self.5Wed all think about ourselveswho am I? Why do I think and feel the way I do?

Review Question: What are the letters for? Why are they used at all?

What questions would come up next?200s: Religion and Mythology Who made me?

Cave-Person wonders about maker. School Edition, 2010


Click cover for book review6Why am I here? Who made me?

Which one would be found first on the shelves?

Islam: cover:

What next?300s: Social Sciences Who is the person in the next cave? Cave-Person thinks about other people and the issues they face. School Edition, 2010

Click cover for book review301.451CLE

362.29WOR7Who is that over there? What problems do those other people face?

After asking who his neighbor is, what would he try to figure out next? How to communicate with them, right? What category would that come under?400s: LanguageHow can I make another understand me?

Cave-Person communicates with others through words. School Edition, 2010


419COS8And its not just foreign language (American sign language is its own language)word histories are here as well.500s: Natural SciencesCave-Person asks: how can I understand nature and the world around me?

Cave-Person is curious about the natural worldboth living and nonliving elements. School Edition, 2010


569.9STE9Next, the caveman notices the world around him and the laws of nature.

Which one would be found first on the shelves? 530, since the NUMBER determines where its placed on the shelves. The letters determine where it is located within the number section.600 s: TechnologyHow can I use what I know about nature?

Primitive Cave-Person observes the natural world, then createsbased on that knowledge: developing tools and machines, cooking techniques, medicine, etc School Edition, 2010


614ADE10Once he has that knowledge, he uses that to create tools and procedures that will help make his live easier and more productive. Like your cell phone.

GPS Link for nonfiction works :ELA9RL1. The student identifies, analyzes, and applies knowledge of the purpose, structure, and elements of nonfiction and/or informational materials and provides evidence from the text to support understanding; 700s: Fine Arts and Recreation How can I enjoy my leisure time? With all the free time created by technology, the cave-person begins to create art, music, dance, and sports to express the self. School Edition, 2010


781.642CAR11With that spare time, man can create art of all sorts.800s: LiteratureHow can I give my children a record of humankinds heroic deeds?

Cave-Person becomes a storyteller, creating fables, poetry, and plays about family, friends, and ancestors and records these stories for others . School Edition, 2010


823GRE12Which author do you think has his own Dewey number? Shakespeare! 822.3

GPS for poetry book: ELA9RL1. identifies and responds to differences in style and subject matter in poems by a variety of contemporary and canonical poets; the student: a. Identifies and responds to the aesthetic effects of subject matter (i.e. topic, theme), sound devices (i.e., alliteration, onomatopoeia, rhyme scheme), figurative language (i.e., personification, metaphor, simile, hyperbole), and structure (i.e., fixed and free forms, rhymed and unrhymed, narrative and lyric) in a variety of poems. b. Sorts and classifies poems by specified criteria (i.e., fixed and free forms, rhymed and unrhymed, narrative and lyric, and/or universal themes and topics).

900s: Geography & HistoryHow can I leave a record for the future?

Cave-Person writes about events that have occurred elsewhere, and about people who participated in these events. School Edition, 2010


954.02PRE13Biographies are technically classified in the 900s, but we have biographies in a separate section near the front desk.Quick Review: Dewey Decimal System000 General KnowledgeAlmanacs, Encyclopedias, Dictionaries100 Psychology & PhysiologyWho am I? 200 ReligionHow did I get here? Who made me?300 Social Sciences & FolkloreWho is the cave-person next door?400 Languages & GrammarHow do I communicate with him/her?500 Math & ScienceWhat can I know about the natural world?600 Medicine & TechnologyWhat can I do/make with what I know about the natural world?700 Arts & RecreationWhat can I do for fun? How can I express myself?800 LiteratureHow can I tell my children about how great we are?900 Geography & HistoryHow can I tell future generations about what we accomplished? School Edition, 2010 14Other Dewey oddities:

Isaac Asimov wrote books that can be catalogued in most of the Dewey main classes. He wrote mostly about science and technology (which classes? 500s and 600s), but he had other classes as well:

200s - 7 titles 400s - 2 titles [Words From History and Words From the Myths] 700s - 3 titles [Visions of the Universe, Asimov's Annotated Gilbert & Sullivan, and Isaac Asimov Presents Superquiz]

Also, the 12th book in A Series of Unfortunate Events, called The Penultimate Peril, is set in the Hotel Denouement, whose rooms are organized according to the Dewey Decimal System. For example, the room 296 is dedicated room for a Rabbi while in the Dewey Decimal classification the number 296 is for Judaism.

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