A Dewey Decimal System handout describes how the Dewey Decimal System works. The handout may also be a worksheet with questions for students to answer as they learn about the system. The Dewey Decimal System is a way of organizing and classifying books in libraries.
The Dewey Decimal System, also known as Dewey Decimal Classification, allows individuals to find the location of a book in a library based on the number assigned to the book. There are ten major categories, also known as classes. These classes have a three digit number. For example, libraries assign books on technology a number within the 600-range.
Within a class there are divisions, and a book's Dewey Decimal number reflects this. For example, within the technology class, books on medicine and health receive a number in the 610-range while books on agriculture have numbers in the 630-range. In order to refine the search for a specific book even further, there are sections within these divisions. For example, libraries assign books on garden crops the number 635 while they mark books on animal husbandry with 636. Libraries with large collections may also use numbers to the right of the decimal to organize their books.
Melvin Dewey, a librarian, developed this system of classification. He published a pamphlet on this system in 1876. By 1927, most public libraries in the United States had adopted it.