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The easiest way to raise a literate child is to read to them and to give them access to books. Since September is Library Card Sign-up Month, we would like to encourage all parents to bring their children to their local library to obtain a library card and allow their children to engage in the joy of searching for and finding books that will ignite their imagination, spark their curiosity and introduce them to a new world of ideas and concepts. A library is a unique place in that it gives people equal access to information and to books that tell them about the past, the present and lets them dream about the future. Libraries are filled with a plethora of books so helping a child to navigate the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) system can make the task to find that special book that excites them a bit easier. So here we go…..!
The DDC, created in 1876 by Melvil Dewey, is the system utilized by more than 200,000 libraries around the world to organize their materials. All library materials are categorized by subject or field of study and assigned a DDC number (generally referred to as a call number). The DDC is made up of ten main classes (ranging from 000 – 900) that are broken down into ten divisions which are broken down further into ten sections. Each number simply gives the book a more specific classification, starting out with a broad subject and then narrowing down. The great thing about this system is that once you have located a book on a certain topic, you will find other books on the same subject around it. Most libraries today use the DDC to organize their nonfiction collection and shelve their fiction titles by author’s last name, even though literature has an assigned number of 800. This is done for simplicity’s sake as the fiction genre is so large.
The DDC Main Classes and Divisions
Hopefully you aren’t thoroughly confused but if you aren’t a regular library user, your head might be spinning right about now. Don’t worry, repeated trips to the library will help you and your child become masters as you search the shelves and see what’s offered. You can also have fun exploring the DDC and becoming more familiar with the system by working on a coloring page, engaging in a scavenger hunt or simply exploring the shelves of your local library to see what books can be found under each number. When in doubt, ask a librarian for assistance.
To further enhance the experience, consider reading some fun library titles with your child such as...
Don't forget to also take a look at your library's events calendar for storytimes, lectures, workshops, movie nights and so many other things. My daughter loves attending the weekly preschool storytime offered at our local library. The children engage in songs, finger play, arts and crafts activities and listen to a story or two read aloud each week.
What is your family's favorite thing about going to the library? Share with us in the comments!
Happy reading and library time!
We are mom Sandra and daughters Amanda and Kate, all with backgrounds in literacy and education, who want to share our philosophy of taking the basics of life; books, simple toys that encourage play, imagination and creativity, and using cooking and baking to teach math and real life skills to raise happy, inquisitive children. Join us in exploring the old and the new and sifting through the myriad of research to consider what is best for our children.