Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library
Point patrons in the right direction
"The Dewey Decimal Classification system is a quick way to give our patrons a place to start to browse on the shelves and uncover resources not detected through a simple catalogue search."
Oaklyn Branch Library, Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library
Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library (EVPL) finds a lot of value in the Dewey Decimal Classification® system (DDC), which helps both library patrons and staff navigate library collections with ease. The DDC is helpful to EVPL staff in several key ways, including cataloguing, subject analysis and patron service. "The DDC provides us with a way of finding a specific title at a specific place on the shelf," said Dennis Brandewie, Oaklyn Branch Library.
Cataloging Manager Andrea Kappler said the DDC is helpful for making sure that books with the same focus are classified together consistently, regardless of subject headings or the order in which their subject headings appear in the catalogue record. EVPL catalogers also benefit from a shelf-listing feature in EVPL's ILS, enabling them to quickly see if their DDC numbers fit with other books classed in a given DDC number.
"Our reference desk staff keeps a list of DDC numbers for popular topics for ready reference when patrons come for help."
The DDC helps EVPL staff analyse specific subject sections for collection development and weeding projects. According to Andrea, EVPL uses WebDewey® 2.0 to fine tune the DDC ranges used in collectionHQ to make collection use analyses more useful. EVPL also uses the DDC to help provide meaningful names to those ranges.
EVPL's branch staff appreciate how DDC numbers help them find materials in both adult and children's collections, which cover an extensive range of subjects. "When patrons ask where books on a specific subject are located, our staff can either provide the DDC number or walk with the patrons to where they'll find the right section in the collections," Dennis said.
The DDC continues to be a viable tool for collection organisation at EVPL. With about 95 percent of the public libraries in the US using the DDC, it seems fit for purpose for a long time to come.
- Central Library and seven branches throughout Evansville and surrounding Vanderburgh County in southwestern Indiana
- Current Central Library facility opened in 2004; includes the READ Center aimed at younger children, parents and teachers; the Teen Zone for youth ages 12–18; the Indiana History Room; and a Talking Books Service
- Central Library provides meeting and study rooms, a passport office, a bookstore and 102 public access computers in its 145,000 square-foot facility
- EVPL's East Branch and West Branch libraries were funded by Andrew Carnegie and opened in 1913; both were renovated and restored in 2003 to retain their historical architecture