You might be passably familiar with the Dewey Decimal system, but the chances that your kids and grandkids know about the library materials classification system that’s been around since the late 1870s are getting slimmer by the year.
It’s a fact: bookstores and online searches (even grocery stores!) are organized by category, not a string of numbers. So in an effort to make finding what they need as simple as possible for patrons, a number of U.S. libraries — including Kent District Library — are aligning themselves with the “search by subject” method.
It’s called BISAC — book industry standards and communications — and by the end of the year all 18 KDL branches will be organized according to this system. As of August 1, eight branches have been completed.
What this means for you: instead of finding materials on, say, weddings, all over the branch — wedding cakes in 641.8653, flower arrangements in 745.926 and wedding planning in 395.2, just to name a few — anything that has to do with weddings will now be in the “Weddings” section. Simple.
Here’s another example: During the school year, librarians everywhere are inundated with requests from students to help them find someone famous to write a report about. Until BISAC, however, biographies could be found in multiple areas: entertainment, sports, literature, politics and more. Now, biography is its own enormous section — making it easier not only to find an interesting subject, but, as browsing tends to encourage, possibly an unexpected one.
“Bottom line is it makes searching easier for patrons,” said Michelle Boisvenue-Fox, assistant director.