Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Circulation Module 8: The Dewey Decimal System

Dewey Decimal at Hutchins

Hutchins Library uses the Dewey Decimal Classification System to catalog and organize our holdings. That means that almost all of our books, DVDs, CDs, records, and videos will have a sticker on them listing a Dewey Decimal call number. Those call numbers are the same ones found when searching our online catalog, BANC. In order to retrieve materials successfully from our stacks or put books away when you are shelving, you must understand how the Dewey Decimal system works.

Brief Intro to Dewey

This tutorial was created by Amanda Peach as a brief introduction to the Dewey Decimal System. In addition to watching this video, you will also be completing the Dewey Easy 2.0 program. This program allows you to practice organizing call numbers on the screen and will print a certificate when you have successfully completed everything. Once you finish that virtual sorting test, you will move on to practicing with real books needing to be shelved.

Special Markings at Hutchins

Here at Hutchins, we have several unique markings on our call numbers to help differentiate between our various collections. It may seem a little overwhelming at first, but don't worry! When in doubt, ask a coworker about the item's location.



These three types of books have colored stickers over the call number to indicate their locations. 

Blue = Reference's College collection. It is located on the short shelf closest to the Reference desk.

Yellow = Reference' math education collection. It is located on the short shelf furthest away from the Reference desk (near the printers)

Pink = Sheet music collection. It is located in the latter part of the 700s on the third floor (specifically, 786.5-789). These books are in call number order within their collection, but it seems out of order if you look at the 700s as a whole. Be careful when shelving items from this collection.



The second book is a picture book and has an E with an asterisk (E*). The collection is located  in the Children's section on third floor.

The third book is a small picture book. Along with the E* it has the word "small" after the call number. 



The first book belongs to the Graphic Novels collection and has a Pow! Graphic Novels sticker above the call number. It is located on the main floor in the alcove near the Circulation Desk.

The second book belongs to our Faculty and Staff Scholarly and Creative Works collection. This collection houses all of the print materials published by faculty and staff at Berea College. These books have SCW above the call number. The collection is located on the short shelves in the reading area directly above Circulation.



The first picture is of a New Book. Items on the New Books shelf have small colored dots on the call number. The colors featured are usually blue, red, yellow, and orange. The different colors indicate when the item was put on the shelf. This shelf is to the right of the Circulation desk. 

  • Dots of different colors (green, purple, etc.) indicate that the item is temporarily on display somewhere in the library. If you are unsure about where the book belongs, ask the Reference desk as they are usually in charge of displays.

The second picture is of a Reference book with a Check Online sticker. These types of books are spread throughout the Reference section and are shelved in typical call number order. The sticker simply indicates that the library has access to the same volume through our online databases.

The third picture is of an item from Special Collections' Mountain Collection, indicated by the Mtn. marking before the call number. Special Collections has several different collections with special markings like these. Their other collections are Historical, Southern Appalachian, Abraham Lincoln, and Curio. If you find one of these books and it is not on the Special Collections reserve shelf behind Circulation, you should return it to Special Collections.