Renea Skaggs posted this topic for us to discuss:

Do any other libraries have their nonfiction books organized under topics instead of the Dewey Decimal system. If so, what are your topics and how do you label the spine of the book?  

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  • My library is tiny I am sure dewy would be great if it was bigger but as it is I have 9 or 10 bookshelves so I have been putting color dots on the spine I have 7 big categories that aren't multimedia so I have 7 color dots one for each big categorie which gets 1 or 2 bookcases. then I put 1-3 letters on the dot to help keep track of where the book goes on the bookshelves.  my auto bio and bio books for example have a neon pink dot with A & B on the spine.  as for categories I have alot of them.  one section is auto bio / bio, prayer, devotionals, life in christ which are basically books that talk about bieng christian in a secular world.  some of my other categories are evangelism, stewardship, preaching, family books which are books on praying as a family, family devotionals, the 365 bedtime biblestory books I have.  there are also death and dying, grief and loss, Lutheran history, Martin Luther, Lutherans.  I also have a category I call other beliefs which is books about other religions and denominations I could call it other religions but that feels too much like I am saying lutherans are the only christians since we have books about methodists and catholics and they are also christian.  I was just trying to think of the easiest way to be organized and make shelving as easy as possible and to have a way I can tell easily if something has been miss shelved.  so with this system I can look at a book case and if I see a dot in a different color I know it doesn't go there and if a hot pink A&B is in with the hot pink Ps I know that isn't right either.

  • We do use Dewey (I'm a BIG fan, because it basically does all the heavy lifting for us).  However, we do have one special area in particular that I'd like to tell you about.

    We call it PER - Parenting and Educational Resources.  Within that area, we have five sub-categories: Growth and Development; Spiritual Growth, School, Reading, Family and Devotional Time.

    Growth and Development (G&D) encompasses books about physical and emotional growth, so for example, sex ed books are here.

    Spiritual Growth (SG) is just that: books about leading children to Christ, teaching them about God and the Bible, those kinds of things.

    Family and Devotional Time (FD&T): devotionals to use with kids and the family.

    School: these are books geared towards education.  Most of them are home-school oriented, but not all, for example Cynthia Tobias' book, The Way They Learn, is in this section.

    Reading: these are books about books and reading, for example Honey for a Child's Heart, 25 Books Every Christian Should Read, and the like.


    We have another "special" area called Adult CE.  This is where we shelve books/resources which are good options for adult Sunday School teachers.  If a teacher orders and uses a set for a class,  when they are done with it, it usually ends up on our shelves for others to use.  This area also includes BSR - Bible Study Resources. These are studies of the fill-in-the-blank variety, which we keep on hand specifically as a resource for teacers or anyone else, really, who wants to do a study on a specific topic or book of the Bible, but wants to look at something before committing to getting it.


    In all these areas, the books' call numbers are Dewey.  Then we also put on spine labels indicating where they belong: ie 

    PER/SG  or Adult CE  or BSR.

  • We use the dewey Decimal System for non-fiction, but we have started a special collections area for books on special topics, especially related to groups that meet at our church:  We have lots of college students and professors so we have a section on "Faith and Science", another one on "Grief and loss"  as we host a grief share group and are starting a section on parenting and marriage since in the dewey decimal system they can be all over the place and finally a special collections for our Senior Adult Ministries with books on aging, and grandparenting, etc.  We mark the books online as "Special collections" so they are easy to locate on the shelf.

  • Our nonfiction books are displayed by subject, Adversity, apologetics, Bio/Autobiography, Bible, Cmmentary, Devotions, Families, finance, God, History/Geography, Jesus, Men, Missions, Poetry, Prayer, Prophesy, Sermons, and Women.

    We don't use Dewey Decimal numbers on the labels, but we do record them in our inventory files (in case we ever want to shelve them that way). We label nonfiction book on labels with Subject, and Author (using first 3 letters of the author's last, a comma, and the initial of the first name).

  • We have ours in categories.  Biblio, Auto, etc.  But we don't use the Dewey system.  

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