Our monthly Dewey Free Meeting was held today.  For more information on the meeting, please visit the meetings page.

General Info:

All the necessary shifting and re-shifting has been completed.  All subjects collections are in their final place unless unforeseen circumstances arise.  A new map has been created and posted as of June 8th.  We also started creating an electronic version of our layout map to further help patrons navigate our collections.  Once completed, this map will be posted on our website and at the internet and database/SWAN stations.

Collections completed (From East to West Side of the library):

Literary Essays, Plays, Poetry, Literary Criticism, Language Arts, Humor, Performing Arts, Music, Fashion, Photography, Architecture, Art, Home, Crafts, Collectibles, Cooking, Garden, Entertaining, Wedding, Etiquette, Holidays, Travel, Languages, Genealogy, Health, Fitness, Beauty, Self-Help, Psychology, New Age, Paranormal, Philosophy, Religion, Pets, Wildlife, Science, Math, Computers, Technology, Transportation, Business, Personal Finance, Law, Education, Parenting, College, Test-Prep, Career, Games, and Sports

All Nonfiction DVDs have been converted from Dewey to Dewey Free.

In total, we converted 25,632 volumes and have 4,288 volumes left.

Collections undergoing conversion:

U.S. History, World History, Political Science, Social Science, and True Crime

Issues:  The same issues pledge us that arose at the initiation of this project.  Are we being too detailed?  If books are on more than one subject how do we decide where they go? Are the Call Numbers in SWAN, our OPAC, clear?  We also keep asking ourselves how best to alter our current signs so that they will be visible from as many parts of the library as possible?

In addition, we are dealing with issues specific to each subject collection as each collection is being converted.  At times, Subject Taxonomies have been changed to better reflect our holdings.



The June Dewey Free Meeting was today.  For more information please check out the Meetings page.



Our monthly Dewey Free meeting was held yesterday, May 6th, 2009.  Details can be located on the Meetings page.



An end is coming and it is truly notable now.  We are pretty much finished reclassifying the East side of the library and the majority of the West side.  We have about 4 more collections to go.  Two of which are ginormous, but we can now see the light at the end of the tunnel.    A few collections have been completed since I last blogged, but we are now using twitter more than the blog for quick day-to-day updates.  It’s a bit addictive, the twitter thing.  (So be forewarned, though I still invite you to follow us.)  Anyhow…here is a summary of the major changes that occurred during the month of April:

1. Updated the maps–both the large one and the smaller ones, which are located at all the service points

2. All taxonomies have been created and approved by Dewey Free Committee with the exception of a free smaller collections created from the 800s.

3. We decided to move all of our nonfiction DVDs back into the main stacks away from the Adult Fiction, World Cinema, & Documentary DVDs because of space issues.  As we move them, we reclassify them.  The DVDs will now be housed at the beginning of the subject collections.

4. The majority of the month has been spent addressing reclassification issues as we made our way through the remaining subject collections.

The following collections were worked on and have been completed this month:

Self-Help, Genealogy, Philosophy, Psychology, Wildlife, True Crime, Humor, & Languages

The following collections are currently being worked on:

Technology, Transportation, Social Science & Travel



Same old, same old.  We are still in the mist of our reclassification though we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

The following collections have been completed (from first completed to last):

Garden, Cooking, Wedding, Business, Personal Finance, Law, Education, Test-Prep, College, Career, Home, Crafts, Art, Photography, Collectibles, Architecture, Music, Performing Arts, Computers, Parenting, Beauty, Fitness, Health, Poetry, Plays, Language Arts, Religion, Math, Science, Pets, Games, Entertaining, Etiquette

Collections currently being worked on:

Wildlife, Philosophy, Humor, Literary Criticism, Self-Help, Tech, Transportation, True Crime, Languages

We created taxonomies for the following, but these collections are currently not being worked on:

Psychology, Social Science, U.S. History, World History, Political Science

We also had our monthly Dewey Free meeting last week.  On details, please see the Meetings Page.



We had our March Dewey Free Meeting yesterday.  Nothing new to report with the exception of what occurred at the meeting.  We did not get as much reclassification done during February due to staffing and time issues.  However, we will continue to convert as many collections as possible in March.  (For more info on the meeting, please go to the meeting page.)



It’s been a little under a month since we last updated this blog because we are at a very repetitive stage in the process.  During each month, we create taxonomies, consult with Technical Services, hold monthly Dewey Free meetings, and for the majority of our allocated Dewey Free project time, reclassify collections.  During the month of January, we worked on the following collections: Fashion, Photography, Computers, Performing Arts, Art, Collectibles, and Crafts.  By the end of January, all of the above collections, with the exception of Computers, have been completed.

We also worked on creating the following taxonomies on January 30th and February 3rd:  Religion, Philosophy, Parenting, Health & Fitness, Technology, Transportation, and Beauty.

Two other reference librarians worked on several taxonomies independently: Mary worked on Science, Pets, and Animals.  Dennis, an avid sports fan, is currently working on the first draft of Sports.  As you can see, the taxonomy process has evolved–now more librarians are involved in the creation of the initial taxonomies.  All of our taxonomies, with the exception of Sports, were presented to the Committee at our last Dewey Free Meeting, which took place on February 4th.

For the most part, working on the project has become routine, but new issues have presented themselves and former ones have resurfaced.


1.  Label Design (We were using black type for both the main category and the subcategories.   Now we will attempt to color code the main category, subcategories, and author/title/publisher/series fields.)

2. The question of whether we are being too specific with some categories has resurfaced.

3.  Issues with whether or not we need a specific subcategory within a collection.

4. The more we get into the actual re-cataloging new issues arise specific to each collection being worked on.  For instance, we now have to deal with the practical issue of where each book belongs within this new classification scheme.



01-12 and 01-13, finished shifting the Art and History collections.




We had another shifting day on Sunday 01-04-08.  We shifted our 3 previously un-shifted collections into their permanent place: Transportation, Repair, and Parenting, and back shifted various collections including History, Biography, and Social Science to fill up empty areas and make more room for these collections.


As of January, the following collections have been converted:

Garden, Cooking, Wedding, Business, Personal Finance, Law, Education, College, Test-Prep, Career, Architecture, Home, and Music.

Collections to be converted in the month of January:

Art, Performing Arts, Collectibles, Photography, Fashion, and Computers.


Melissa and Joanna still meet monthly to work on taxonomies, and now there are monthly meetings for Dewey Free staff on the first Wednesday of the each month.


Figure out what to do with the  Nonfiction New Display area: arrangement/organization–we still have Dewey collections and now we are adding new Dewey Free Collections in this area?  what about signage?

We house new and older items in different areas.  The new items are upfront by our circulation desk in newer shelving units.  We decided that our older items housed in a given subject collection will be converted first, and then newer items will follow.   Our New Nonfiction Display Area arrangement:  first the Dewey Free Collections are displayed in alphabetical order,  and they are followed by Dewey collections.

Also because the shelves are different–metal instead of wooden, we had to come up with a new signage concept for the new materials area.



A number of things have occurred since we last updated this blog.  We have had several meetings; reclassified a few collections; updated signs; talked to our pages; and created new taxonomies.


November 20th–Melissa and Joanna meet to reassign IC1Stats and to create taxonomies.  The following taxonomies were created:  Home, Art, Architecture, Crafts, Music, and Performing Arts.

November 26th–Melissa and Joanna meet to review and alter previously created taxonomies

December 3rd–Taxonomies were introduced to staff and discussed.  Staff chose the collection they wanted to reclassify.  Currently, four collections are being worked on: Home, Crafts, Music, and Architecture.


December 2nd–Additional shifting occurred on the East Side.   The Computers, Performing Arts, Music, Fashion, and Art collections were moved back for aesthetic and spacial reasons.


The following Collections have been completed as of December 9th (listed last finished to the earliest):

Education, Law, Personal Finance, Business, Test-Prep, College, Career, Wedding, Cooking, Garden.



Hello yet again:

A lot is going on, we are trying to keep the pace in terms of converting our collection as well as creating new taxonomies.    This Friday, November 14th, the Law collection was completed along with the Education collection.  We have only two completed taxonomies ready to use for reclassification at this time–Personal Finance and Languages–the former Nicole has started today.  So now we need to find an opportunity to meet and create more taxonomies so that the reclassification can continue uninterpreted.

Our main issue at this point is finding the necessary time to create/alter the taxonomies; however, we have agreed that we need to meet at least once a month as a group.



We are moving along at a slower pace now.  We have meet various times to fine tune our Law, Personal Finance, and Education taxonomies as well as to assign new IC1Stats, which are essential in obtaining circulation reports.

We are currently working on the Law and Education collections.  The following has been completed: Garden, Cooking, Wedding, Business, College, Career, and Test-Prep.

Our problems are centered on the fact that we cannot dedicate the time we need to for the creation of new taxonomies and this fact is slowing down the reclassification process.

We have meet several times throughout last month and have several meeting planned for the upcoming month.

Our goal now is to work on at least one collection at a time though it appears that two collection might be completed in a given month–it all depends on staff time, and at this point, their energy.  It is safe to say that we will have 10 collection completed by the end of November with 30 major ones left to reclassify; this does not include “minor” collections such as Short Stories, Graphic Novels, Beauty, etc, which total from 7 to 10 extra collections.  Minor collections are so named because they consist of 2 to 6 shelves.

We are also facing issues with the reclassify of these minor collection as we find ourselves wanting to combine these tiny collections into larger collections.  For instance, during the last week of October we meet to discuss what needs to be done with our Folklore and Mythology collections as both are small collections and Folklore is currently shelved with Wedding, Transportation, etc, in accordance with the Dewey Classification System.  However, these subjects do not relate in our new “subject” system so we are debating whether to combine Folklore and Mythology and assign it a hip and happening name such as Myth & Lore.  We did consult BISAC subject heading on this manner, but we were left unsatisfied with their placement of Mythology within Religion and the separation of Folklore from Mythology.  From here we really had to question the nature of our Folklore and Mythology collections and have started to deconstruct these collections.  We have yet to find a solution, but hope to do so at our Dewey Free meeting, which will take place on November 12th.



Working on updating our map with our graphic designer.  Melissa had her first meeting with the pages yesterday.  We have also been responding to comments we received via the blog.



We have finished relabeling our Business Collection, and our cataloger is currently finishing up our Education section.  A lot has occurred last week in terms of meetings, discussions, and realizations.

We had two meeting on the 22nd of this month, which have proved very productive and informative.  It seems like for awhile now we have been so focused on reclassifying our Dewey collections that we have not been able to re-evaluate our established taxonomies nor meet as a group to share our experiences and thoughts.  The first meeting was between Melissa and Joanna and the focus was on the re-evaluation of the Dewey Free collections as well as the creation of an implementation schedule for the upcoming collections. (For more on the meetings go to Meetings.)  The second meeting was between us and all the individuals involved in the reclassification project.  We met to share our ideas, to go over what has been done, to demonstrate what mistakes and strives we have made. (More on this meeting in the Meeting section.)

During the past 2 weeks, as things have been reclassified I have tried to change signage and add signage where needed.

We are planning to meet with pages this week–October 27th-October 30th–to explain new shelving procedures, the system, etc.



We have finished the following collections: Garden and Cooking, as mentioned before, but we have also completed Wedding, College, Career, and Test-Prep.  Nicole, one of our new reference librarians, is a third of the way finished with our Business collection.



We have meet and discussed New Display Area Scheme.  While in transition, we decided to place new items that have been changed to the new system within the regular collections and not the new display area.  However, today I have revised that idea with input from Mary Beth, the greatest and most supportive TS person ever, and we start putting new items from the converted collections on the new display units before the collections that still need to be changed.  For example, the somewhat completed Business, and the remainder of the completed collections: Career, College, Cooking, Garden, Test-Prep, Wedding, will proceed the 100s, 200s, 300s, etc.   I hope to get this done by 5 pm today.



One of our reference librarians has come in to shift today, 10-13-08.  He will most likely finish shifting the game and sports section to its final destination.  If he does, we will have only 2 more collections to shift: the Technology–including machinery, auto repair, and the Graphic Novels.

We will also have to re-shift some collections because we have several empty shelving units due to issues we faced with our shelving units and some minor miscalculations we made in the initial implementation plans.

The main focus from now on then will be to create taxonomies for all collections and to continue and even double our cataloging efforts.  (Taxonomies here we come!)



New map has been completed and passed out to pages and to other staff members at various service desks.  The new map will be posted soon.

Melissa and I meet to re-evaluate our Garden and Cooking collections.  We are trying to slow down and refocus on unifying our completed taxonomies.

Started a cataloging blog for the staff involved in cataloging the new collections.  This will allow us to keep each other updated about what has been done, who is working on what, etc.

Our marketing is underway.  Our DeweyFree Buttons, which are available freely to staff and patrons, came in.  They have the Free Dewey Logo on them.



Wedding collection has been completed.  We shifted today!  This was our one and only shifting day of the month.  We now have to start putting all of our attention on evaluating our progress and creating taxonomies for the collections that have been moved to their final destinations.

The following has been done:

1. History and Biography have been moved to their permanent home on West Side of the library to the units closest to the AS desk.
2. We have also moved the 620-621 by the Science collection, and the Beauty collection by Auto Repair.
3. Photography, Music, and Film & TV (780-792) has been moved to their final destination on the East Side.
4. The Computer Books (000-098) and the Fashion Books (390-392) are also home now. They can be located on the East Side after the Photography, Music, and Film & TV collections.

We have been changing the signage accordingly.
Maps with hand-written corrections have been placed in various service areas and on the page carts.



The Technical Services Department begun working on relabeling the Business Collection and the Wedding collection is almost complete.



We had our second shifting day of September on Sunday, September 21st.  We stayed within our West section, and shifted the following around:

Travel books and the beginning of the History section are in their final section; Parenting, Psychology, Philosophy, Religion, Mythology, and Folklore are as well.  (We had to empty the 000s and shift some of the other collections out–like portions of the 600s out to make room.)  We also moved the following collections to the place where Travel and Geography was:  Education, Career, Test-Prep, Business & Economics, Small Business, and Law.



Biggest issue we are facing now is the shelves themselves.  Will continue this post later with added pics.



The Cooking Collection has been reclassified and completed!!!!!!!!!!!



Our first shift of September occurred on September 14th @ 6 a.m.  We do not have a new map of what was done, as we started to feel that it was a waste to create two maps a month especially because the first map is only valid for a week as we will be shifting this Sunday.

I am able to provide you with the details though of what was done and a hand-altered map. (Map will shortly be displayed below.)

We moved the remaining of the ART books to the East side–the area this collection occupied on the West Side is now free.

We also moved the GN by the 800s. (As well as Drawing books that were miscataloged and shelved with the GNs.)

We moved Fitness & Health, Languages, and Science to their final destinations.

The Languages collection was moved from the East side to the West side and the other collections were simply shifted around within the West side.



Newest Map of our Collection:


UPDATE 08-26-08

August 17th–
Initially we planned to move the Cooking collection and at the same time move the entire 200s collection and 300s collection. We ended up moving the Cooking collection and the 200s, but we did not have enough room to move all the 300s into the former Cooking section on the West Side as the 300s are much bigger than our Cooking Collection.

Thus we moved and were forced to separate various subject collections within the 300s. We created a Social Science, Law, Politics, Estate Planning, and True Crime Collections which are made up of the following ranges: 300-331.6272 and 340-369.5. In addition, we created Business and Personal Finance Collections from the 331-339 as these ranges were separated from the other 300s mentioned above.  We also created Education and Fashion Sections with the remaining 300s; 370 through 399 remained in their original place as we did not have the space nor the time to move them. See the Map on the top-right below to get a better idea of what we did on the first August shift; Map on the bottom-left shows the collection at the end of July after our two July shifts.

Because so many of the collections were relocated on this shifting day, we needed to put up, you can guess, more signs. Therefore, Jen created Subject Signs and put them on the end caps of the shelving units as well as placed signs above the shelves on cardboard on the unites where end cap signs were not visible. Examples of signs:

More pics of signs can be located on the Signage Section.

August 24th–Our intention with this shift was to simply move the Craft Collection, but that is not the only thing that we ended up doing as there were several issues we faced. The Craft Collection for the most part is in the 740s–meaning that we could not shift the entire 700s collection. We had already divided our other Dewey collections, i.e. 300s, into numerous sections because of spacing issues and because ultimately the numbers are going to become insignificant. However, we were worried about separating the 700s like we had done with the 300s for the entire transition period because the collections still had  Dewey numbers on the spine.  We were worried that our pages as well as staff and patrons were going to be confused if we separated two large collections like the 700s and 300s. Thus, we decided to keep the 700s as together as possible and to, of course, create many many many subject signs to assist the staff and the patrons; this worked well with patrons who were browsing by subject, but presented some problems for individuals looking for a specific book and obtained a numeric call number from the catalog; they had to translate the number to a subject as 000s no longer followed 200s, etc. But don’t forget our handy dandy map–this has continuous changed alongside our collections–this has been very useful in solving the issue of finding a specific book that still had a Dewey call number.

What we did:
So we moved the Craft Collection and the Antiques and Collectibles Collection which are intertwined in the Dewey numbers but eventually these collections will be separated. So we moved 738-739.74; 745-746.61 which are the craft/antique books in Dewey. We also moved the Graphic Novels 741.2-741.949. Because time permitted, we also moved various other collections which will make up our Home Repair and Design collection in the long run–the construction books, home economics, and interior design. To make room for the Graphic Novels which would have to be moved to the East Side of the library we also moved the Education books, 370s, into an empty unit on the West Side. Our collections right now are distorting Dewey–the numbers have been broken up; however, we are beginning to see the birth of Subject Collections.


Melissa and I have been talking, and it looks like after we move the remainder of our Humanities–Art, Photography, Music, Film, Architecture, we will need to plan for a long day of shifting as the West Side of the library will be full but most of the collections will not be in their final place. We are contemplating our next move–and the next one will most likely break up any numbers that are still in chronological order.


UPDATE 08-18-08

General summary of what we have done to this point; issues we have faced/are now facing–i.e. with taxonomy and signage; in addition, I will post images, maps, etc, of what the collections currently look like.


As of May various meeting have been held and discussions had, but we did not start planning the implementation of the project–layouts, etc–until June and the physical shifting did not occur until the middle of July. In July, we shifted twice, and as the result we completed the following:
On July 17th, 18th, and 19th, (we initially thought that this major shift would only take a day and it took 3 days) we rearranged the entire East Side; reconfigured the 000s-400s so that the collection started on the south side instead of the north side; and we shifted and rearranged the Fiction, Mystery, and Science Fiction Collections. We created very very temporary signage as they were needed before we had a meeting with our graphic designer.

At this time, we were also discussing the best way to post our temporary signs, whether or not to color code the sections, etc.

On July 20th–The Gardening, Botany, and Landscaping Collections were moved to the East Section and the 000s and 100s were moved to the West Side where the Gardening Collection originally was; we also moved the 800s to the East Side because the previous shift had created empty units and we eventually want to eliminate the 800s by moving the fiction currently in the 800s into our Fiction collection and by creating other collections out of the 800s–i.e. a Literary Criticism Collection. (To see a visual representation of what we have completed check-out the 2 maps below: One represents our pre-shifting layout and the other is a post-2 initial shifts layout.)

Original Collection Before Anything was Done


As with all projects, certain issues present themselves in the beginning and others are invisible until the project is underway.

Some issues I have already blogged about, and so I will only quickly revisit them here; however, others are new, so I will introduce them.

The layout of our collections is ever changing as we are shifting two collections a month. This has presented issues with signage, as it has to be continuously updated, and can hinder or aid staff and patrons with locating items. We have settled on creating a large map, smaller maps available at various service points, and are creating temporary signs at the drop of a hat–so they are not all that appealing but we make do with them for now. The problem with these solutions is that they are time consuming as we have to reprint new maps and signs.

We have also been responsible for communicating with all of our staff as to when and where the collections are being moved.  Letting the public know about the project has been done mostly through word of mouth and by passing out free buttons with our Dewey Free trademark.

Finally, we are now establishing taxonomies for each collection, and we have found that some revisions in the taxonomy is necessary after a collection has already be reclassified. Revisions have occurred because of unforeseen problems and feedback given by staff and patrons. For example, the Garden Collection has been completed ,and while reclassifying, the Technical Services Staff created new a few new subcategories.


UPDATE 08-05-08

Tech Services Staff have completed the Gardening collection. Over 250 titles have been switched!



UPDATE 07-30-08

Tech Services Staff started  to transfer Botany/Gardening titles to our new system. About 80 titles were completed today.



UPDATE: 07-13-08

We are now trying to inform the public about the project.


UPDATE 07-12-08

We are going to begin shifting the fiction and the 000s through 400s, which are located on the east side of the library. Video and images of shifting days will be posted on the blog as soon as can be managed.


Update 06-25-08

The weeding is progressing. The Mystery, 000s, 100s, 200s, 300s, 400s, and 500s are done. Melissa is working on the Fiction and will do a second round of weeding in the 300s. I am still working on the 600s, 700s, and 800s.


Update 06-24-08

After meeting with our graphic designer, we realized that we have to find a way to best inform our patrons that we will soon be under construction.  An idea, which is brilliant by the way, was suggested by Jen. She recommended that she could create comical tags for our shirts and posters that say something like “Free Dewey.” The image on these materials would be of Dewey in prison, etc.   I will post examples later when we have something concrete.


Update 06-23-08

Some of the issues that we are facing include not having enough time, looking for individuals to help us shift on the designated July dates, trying to figure out the design of the labels and working on taxonomies. We are also attempting to update our staff on what is going to happen in the upcoming months.

Today, I contacted our in-house graphic designer and scheduled an appointment with her, so that we could address possible signage issues.   Things I wanted to address: design of the signs and where it will be best to post them.

A lot of things are happening at once, but the main focus short term is to weed, weed, weed. I finished weeding the 100s and 200s this past week, and Melissa is currently weeding Mystery. To get you up to speed, I have weeded the Biographies, 100s, 200s, 500s, 641s, 900s, and am currently working on the 600s and have the 700s and 800s left. Melissa has weeded the paperbacks, some of the hardback fiction, and is working on Mystery. She has Fiction and SF left to complete.


First Update on Signage 06-19-08

We met today in order to discuss potential signage. Issues addressed included researching various graphics and signage companies and brainstorming signage ideas.


First Update on Weeding: 06-16-08

Weeding is an ongoing process that for the most part has taken a backseat to collecting/buying in our library.

However, once we undertook this project, it has become a priority in our working lives. Thus since April, I have undertake the weeding of the 500s, 641s, and 900s, while my partner in crime, Melissa Rice, the Head of Adult Services, has been continuously working on the Fiction collection both the hardcover and paperback. (In our library these formats are separated.)

We already completed the weeding of the following collections: Biography and the 100s. The goal for the month of June and the beginning of July is to finish weeding the Mystery, Science Fiction and Fantasy, the 200s through the 400s.

We are also planning to have a general meeting with all staff members to inform them of the shifting.


The first level of shifting is to begin in July. We will shift on two Sundays, July 13rd and July 20th. The goal is to shift the east side of the library, but the main focus will be to shift the Mystery, Fiction,  Science Fiction and the Biography collections.

Joanna Kolendo
Reference Librarian


2 responses to “PROGRESS & ISSUES

  1. I’m your man – any time you need help, just call on me.
    This is soooo exciting.

  2. True Confession!
    I’m fairly traditional and “old school” about library issues, so I admit that my 1st thoughts about going Dewey free were not positive (sorry, but it’s true!). So I did some research and asked some questions and got some facts. Then I asked myself “what is in the best interests of the patrons and customer service?” (which is, after all, why we are here!) and found no real reason to NOT be behind this exciting and innovative project. Count me in!