Thursday, February 26, 2009

Where can I find the Dewey number of a book?

Question: Is there a website where I can find the Dewey number of a non-fiction book?

Response: Yes, there is. There are at least two ways to find the Dewey number of a book without being a trained cataloger.

1. The first way is to look in the book itself especially for newer books. There is a page called the ‘imprint page’ or the ‘verso page’ that contains publisher information, ISBN numbers, and much more. It is usually on the back side of the title page, but we notice it more and more often at the back of the book. The Dewey number is there. You may not want to use the entire number. One example is a book we are processing now titled “Braving Volcanoes: Volcanologists”. On the verso page the Dewey number given is 551.21092. This is very long, so we have shortened it to 551.21. That works for our library. One more thing in cataloging this particular book is to decide where to put this book. The Dewey number 551.21 is where other books about VOLCANOS are located. But the book is about a volcanologist which is a CAREER, therefore we could put it in CAREER. Since I bought it for the volcano section, I decided that it would be more useful in the volcano section, so we are putting it there. Another thing you might see is a Dewey number that looks like this: 641.5’636. The apostrophe indicates that the book could stop after the ‘5’ or you could put the whole number. This is a vegetarian cookbook in our library. We have all our vegetarian cookbooks cataloged together, so we use the whole number. You are the final voice for how the book will be used in your library.

2. The second way to get a Dewey number is to go to Click on Basic Search, Type in the title of the book you need the Dewey number for, and press Enter. You may need to select the title you want from a list. It could be that there are sound recordings, paperbacks, hardbacks, or videos or DVDs of that title. When you have selected the book, you need to click “Full Record” and the Dewey number will be on that page.

As you are putting the information into your computer program, don’t forget to include tags to help you locate the book. Using my “Braving Volcanoes: Volcanologists” book as an example, I found that the tags already with the book are: volcanologists – juvenile literature; volcanological research – juvenile literature; volcanoes – juvenile literature. I can add lava, hot rocks, eruption, magma or any other term that may be useful in locating this book.

I hope this information is helpful to you. If you have any questions, please send them to me and I will certainly try to answer them if I can.

Have a good week.


1 comment:

  1. Hello,
    I would like to ask you when a book has both an isbn and issn number
    what that means and it should be considered as a book or a magazine?
    thank you