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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.



These books belong on the first floor in our Children's collection. 

The first book is a young adult book and has an E before the call number. This should not be confused with adult fiction books on the third floor. The E for a young adult book is on a line completely by itself. These books are located on the tall shelves in the Children's section. There are also nonfiction books on those shelves that will have the same lone E marking before the call number.

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

The third book is a small picture book. Along with the E* it has the word "small" after the call number. This indicates that it should be shelved at the top of the small shelves in the Children's section. There are labels on these short shelves to designate the places for normal picture books and small ones.



Both of these books are located on the third floor in the open reading areas. 

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 short shelves in the reading area directly above Reference.

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.

A Note on Call Numbers in Special Collections

For a detailed account of the items and call numbers of the various collections in Special Collections and Archives, please refer to Module 3: Materials in Special Collections and Archives.