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Library News

Now You Can Browse Library Center's Nonfiction, or Stick with Dewey

Library Center visitors will notice a big change beginning today in the adult nonfiction collection. It’s one we’ve been demonstrating for a while, so it will be familiar to frequent visitors.

We have combined two popular ways to find a book and some DVDs. In nonfiction only, we have adopted the bookstore model of grouping “like” items for people who like to browse, but we’ve preserved the traditional Dewey Decimal numbering system within those groupings.

Now it’s easy to locate what you’re looking for, whether you like to browse by topic  or prefer to use Dewey.

The catalog will direct you. Books are listed in the catalog by their section and by Dewey number, so book hunters can still use the same tools they always did to find their book.  

An example: If you want Neil Gaiman’s “The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction,” the catalog will list branch location, section: Books & Literature, Call No. (Dewey) and availability.

How do you know where to go?

We’ll have colorful section signage over the shelves such as Science & Nature, or Gardening & Landscaping. Once you’re in a section, you will find the books grouped by Dewey number. We also have printed diagrams to help you navigate the new system, and staff will help you find anything you need.

The Library Center and Library Station demonstrated the system with select nonfiction collections in 2016. The Schweitzer Brentwood Branch reopened in January 2017 with adult and children’s nonfiction sections. The Library Station, Republic Branch and a display section at the Willard Branch have already been completed.

A library task force began studying the system in 2012. Patrons wanted an easier way to browse by topic, as they do in book stores.  

“We wanted to do something to aid browsers of our materials, but still have the detailed finding tool that Dewey Decimal offered,” says Collection Services Manager Lisa Sampley, who led the team.

As always, staff is ready and happy to help you find what you need.

Kathleen O'Dell is community relations director for the Springfield-Greene County Library District. She can be reached at

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