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Dewey Decimal System of Library Classification OR. How To Find a Book in the Library. By Christy Lightholder MEDT 6463. What if……?. you had only 5 minutes to go into your library and find a book on spiders?. First… you must search through 10,000 – 20,000 books.

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how to find a book in the library

Dewey Decimal System of

Library Classification


How To Find a Book in the Library

By Christy Lightholder

MEDT 6463

what if
What if……?

you had only 5 minutes to go into

your library and find a book on



you must search through 10,000 –

20,000 books.

Could you do it in just 5


sure y ou could
Sure you could!

With a little help from Dewey…..

but you are thinking --

“Who is this strange man and how

can he help me find a book on


  • Who was Melvil Dewey?
  • What do these terms mean?

The 3 C’s: Class, Call number and Catalog

  • What are the 10 subject areas of classification?
melvil dewey
Melvil Dewey
  • Was born in 1851.
  • Was a librarian who loved math.
  • Developed the classification system used today in the library.
  • Grouped books together, so you can browse by subject.
the three c s
The Three C’s


Dewey made ten main classes or subject areas. Books are grouped on shelves together by their subject for easy browsing.

the three c s1
The Three C’s

Call number

Books have a number on their spine that is similar to other books in their class so that you can easily find them. This is located over the letters from the author’s last name.

What is the call number on this book?

the three c s2
The Three C’s




the three c s3
The Three C’s


Is a list of the books that can be found in the library. The catalog is usually located on the computers in the library. What is the name of our school catalog?

the 10 main classes
The 10 Main Classes

Generalities – 000

Philosophy – 100

Religion – 200

Social Science – 300

Language – 400

Science & Math – 500

Technology – 600

The Arts – 700

Literature – 800

Geography & History - 900

Here we go!

100 s philosophy
100’s Philosophy

Books about us.

200 s religion
200’s Religion

Who made me?

300 s social science
300’s Social Science

Who is my neighbor?

400 s language
400’s Language

How do I communicate with my


500 s science and math
500’s Science and Math

What will I talk about? (natural sciences)

600 s technology
600’s Technology

What will I do with science? (applied


700 s the arts
700’s The Arts

Time for a break! What will I do for FUN?

800 s literature
800’s Literature

Time to get serious again: Authors and

books that make me who I am.

900 s geography history
900’s Geography & History

Who, what, where, when, why? How did

everything happen?

000 s generalities
000’s Generalities

We didn’t forget this one! This is for

everything else with room to grow.

what about fiction books
What about Fiction Books?

There are so many fiction

books that most of them

are classified together

alphabetically by the author’s

last name.

celebrate learning
Celebrate Learning!
  •  Visit the Dewey Decimal Glog for a video and printable handout

  • Order in the Library Online Game

  • (n.d.). Bellmore-Merrick Online Resources. Retrieved from

  • (2003). Encyclopedia: Melvil Dewey. Retrieved from
  • (2011). Georgia Performance Standards. Retrieved from
  • Adamson, H. (2010). The Best of ProSoccer. Mankato, MN: Capstone Press
  • Alstrum, V. (n.d.). Order in the Library Game. Retrieved from
  • Branley, F. (1996). What Makes A Magnet? New York, NY: Harper Collins Publishers, Inc.
  • Breitsprecher, W. (2009). Doin’ Dewey With Mr. B. Retrieved from
  • Dicker, K. & De Silva, N. (2010). I Belong to the Buddhist Faith. New York, NY: Rosen Publishing Group
  • Donovan, S. (2010). Bob the Alien Discovers the Dewey Decimal System. Retrieved from
  • Hayes, S. (2008). Dewey Decimal Rap Video. Retrieved from
  • Jakubiak, D. (2010). A Smart Kid’s Guide to Doing Internet Research. New York, NY: Rosen Publishing Group
  • Loewen, N. (2003). We Live Here Too. Minneapolis, MN: Picture Window Books
  • Loewen, N. (2007). If You Were a Presposition. Minneapolis, MN: Picture Window Books
  • Martin, P. (n.d.). Dewey Decimal System at Pete’s Power Point Station. Retrieved from
  • Murphy, F. (2005). Babe Ruth Saves Baseball. New York, NY: Random House
  • Murphy, P. (2004). Exploring Space With An Astronaut. Berkley Heights, NJ: Enslow Publishers, Inc.
  • Prelutsky, J. (1993). The Dragons Are Singing Tonight. New York, NY: Greenwillow Books
  • Raatma, L. (2000). Character Education: Patience. Mankato, MN: Capstone Press