Dewey didn’t do Geography


There’s been quite a bit of chatter about the “de-dewification” of the library, if that’s the way to write it. Of course that all started way back, when people pulled their fiction out of the 800’s and sorted it by author, but the trickle seems to be turning into a flow.

Graphic book Section

While I was on the Singapore Study Visit, Ngee Ann Poly was one of the many libraries who have moved towards a bookstore concept for their lifestyle books.  Library Grits wrote about the topic this week, referring to the AASL13. Where I work, in Secondary, we’ve pulled out Biography, Playscripts, Graphic Books, and Poetry.   In primary, we’ve got boxes for series and have pulled out Graphic Books.When I did my Libguide for Development Economics, and we wanted to link the physical to the virtual, we were pulling books out of various sub-classifications and putting them together (in DDC order in the Economics section, but not in Economics order – if that makes sense!).  That was reasonably manageable and not to way out.

The Princess Book Section

But then last week I started work on the Geography Libguide.  Boy o boy, Dewey didn’t do Geography.  Or at least not in any form that a modern geographer or geography student would recognise it these days.  A complete aside, but Ms. Katie was then telling me why Geography is not such a big deal at American universities as it could be, or is in the rest of the world.  So, what did Dewey allow us?

910 Geography & travel 
911 Historical geography
912 Graphic representations of earth, atlases
913 Ancient world
914 Europe 
915 Asia 
916 Africa
917 North America 
918 South America
919 Other areas

And what do we need?  – This is a little topic list from our school’s IB syllabus:

People on the move: Migration
Global Climate change: causes and consequences
Resource consumption and the environment: Making a difference
The big Blue: Ocean morphology and Climate Connections
Where land meets sea: coast
Resources and marine ecosystems
Urban Environments
The Melaka fieldtrip unit
IBiodiversity and tropical ecosystems
Soil resource management
Water on tap: water resource management
Development Disparities: Measuring the differences, disparities within communities and responses
Life on the edge: Hazard perception and vulnerability
Global Interactions: Globalization

So it looks like we’re going to have to work with a separate shelf plus some kind of sticker identification on the spine of the books.

Anyone else there struggling with Geography?

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