Listening to: Dhol Rinse – Asian Dub Foundation

So what do you think of this? A public library in America has dropped Dewey altogether. (Link courtesy of web-goddess.)

The very idea makes me squirm, but I can’t decide if that’s justified or not. I mean, Dewey is really flawed, but…getting rid of it altogether? Really? (Is that allowed?)

The part of the article I really take exception to is this:

Libraries are trying to adapt to changing times, experts said, and their success lies in a generation of young people who are more comfy at Borders than libraries. Across the U.S., some libraries are trying to lure readers by adding lounge chairs and coffee shops.

I mean, what, like generations past didn’t go to bookshops? Was there ever a time when Dewey actually matched people’s instincts? It’s a system you learn to use. Yes, we’re an increasingly consumer-driven society, but this idea that Borders/Google/whatever is changing the way we think, eat and breathe is getting really overblown. I’m very open to the idea that library organisation needs to change (Dewey as it stands is ghastly in its biases, for one thing), but that need predates the twenty-first century, and I really hate this whole market-driven, competitive way of thinking that public libraries are supposed to be getting into now. And I think making libraries more comfortable is a great idea, but, you know, in general, not because Borders has started some sort of revolution. (I reread this, and wasn’t sure if it made any sense – my mind is still foggy with assignments. What I was trying to say was, I’m all for progress, but I’m annoyed by the idea that progress is a new invention, and that libraries should start behaving like multinational corporations if they want to survive. Maybe I am overthinking things. Maybe I should be thinking about databases instead. Oh…)

Anyway, what are your thoughts about the Deweyless library?

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