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Arts and Entertainment, Features

Decoding Dewey: Understanding classification while enjoying your library

In college, students pick up extra-curriculars left and right, sometimes more often than they can handle. Perhaps the easiest extra-curricular seems to take a backburner to other, more time-consuming activities. A book can be picked up and put down at will, making it the ultimate in customizable time commitment. So why don’t students read? Most likely because, while there are fascinating topics out there, most students just don’t know how to find what interests them. Understanding the Dewey Decimal Classification (or system) will help guide even time-and sleep-strapped students to books that make them want to read.

 000 – Information, general works and computer science: 

This section is for those who’ve always wanted to understand the ins-and-outs of computers, theories of knowledge or how libraries work. Also, rare books can be found in the 000 section.

 100 – Philosophy and psychology: 

Not just for shrinks, this section also includes books on the occult and paranormal, ethics, sources of error and humanism. Of course books on psychology are present, as well as those on epistemology

 200 – Religion: 

Not only the more common, but also more minor and less well-known religions are found in this section. If interested in Bahaism, there’s a section there. Atheists can even research the history and background (and one might say mythology) of almost any religion known.

 300 – Social sciences: 

Ever wondered about the sociology of a university? How the government really works? Why taxes even exist? All this and more (including criminology, military science and even international folklore) are found in the 300s.

 400 – Language: 

Sure, there are books on Germanic, Romance and Hellenic languages, but if Africa’s your thing, there is a whole section on the languages of the continent. If on St. Patrick’s day you saw a shirt that said “Eire go Brach” and wondered what that meant, there’s a Gaelic section as well.

 500 – Science: 

Just because both general science requirements are completed doesn’t mean that science has stopped evolving and expanding. Geology? Check. Botany? Yep. Invertebrates? One whole section.

 600 – Technology:

Computer science doesn’t cover all technology. There’s agriculture and chemical engineering, but also food and drink, hunting and diseases. Possibly the most diverse category, there’s something for everyone in this section.

 700 – Arts and recreation: 

Plastic arts? Who knew you could even write a book about that? Nowadays who isn’t a photographer in some regard? If you need a creative outlet, these books are as good, or better than, gold.

 800 – Literature:

The “real” books: satire, fiction, drama and poetry. Literature also includes books and poems in other languages, speeches and letters. There’s bound to be something interesting in there.

 900 – History, geography and biography:

If learning all about Ben Franklin isn’t your thing, you can always read up on your favorite musician’s life. Or, you can learn the history of the United States or almost any country and even “extraterrestrial worlds.”



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