My library can't afford the on-line Dewey, so for those like me who have
the books, emphasize hand updating them from the OCLC Dewey site for new
and changed entries.
Those entries only stay there for 6 months or so, so it is important for
us hard copy people to get them right away.

Secondly, again, useful only for hard copy Dewey users, I put our Dewey
use notes right in the books, as we have some personnel who do
cataloging for only 4 or 8 hrs.. out of their work week.  What tripped
me up was that I hadn't marked the pages where I did this (the skinny
post-it flags are good for this), so I've been having to turn every page
in the Dewey 21s to find those notes.  When I'm done, all the relevant
pages in the Dewey22 will be marked, making the transition to Dewey23,
when it comes, easier.  These are notes such as prefer or use some other
number, adding program names to the labels for computer books, use
shorter number for a specific topic and carry it out for all related
topics (using a short number for the Titanic disaster and expanding it
for all other North Atlantic shipwrecks comes to mind.)

As far as actually teaching the numbers, all I can say it, read the fine
print and follow it.

Sometimes a dictionary helps to translate the headings into common language.

I do wish I was closer to somewhere (Ketchikan is on an island, 1 hr.,
37 min. flying time from Seattle, no roads in or out) that I could take
a course on Dewey 800s.  I was science track, not literature track in
college, and so have no background for using them. I read, re-read, look
at the DDC numbers in the books; sometimes it makes sense, sometimes not.

Hope this is moderately useful. :-)

Kris Kuhns
Ketchikan Public Library
Ketchikan, Alaska 99901

Arlene Taylor wrote:

>Hello again,
>About 3 weeks ago I sent the following message to the list.  I heard from
>only 4 people.  Those responses were very helpful, leading me to believe
>that some of the rest of you may also have useful things to say, given
>time, of course, and a little reminder ;-)  I know that many of you were
>not in work-mode on Jan. 3; so I wanted to ask again for your help.  I
>need to finish the article by the end of January.
>Thank you so much,
>---------- Forwarded message ----------
>Date: Mon, 3 Jan 2005 14:14:39 -0500 (EST)
>From: Arlene Taylor <[log in to unmask]>
>To: [log in to unmask]
>Subject: teaching Dewey
>Hello, and Happy New Year, Educatters!
>I am on the Dewey Decimal Classification Editorial Policy Committee.  I
>more or less represent the folks who teach Dewey.  In that capacity, I
>have been asked to write an article about teaching Dewey.  I have my own
>experience to draw upon, but I also know from experience that many of you
>have excellent ideas about teaching that have never crossed my mind.
>I'm wondering if you would be willing to share with me.  What things do
>you find particularly problematic about teaching Dewey?  What innovative
>methods have you tried that worked?  that didn't work?  How does it
>compare with teaching other classifications (usually LCC, but also UDC).
>How does it mesh with the teaching of Classification (or Categorization)
>as a general concept?
>I will acknowledge you as the source of ideas I use in the article, and if
>I want to quote what you say, I will ask your permission first.  Feel free
>to write to me off list, but I think a discussion among us would be
>interesting as well.
>Thank you very much,
>Arlene G. Taylor  **  Professor Emerita
>Department of Library and Information Science
>School of Information Sciences
>University of Pittsburgh  **  Pittsburgh, PA  15260
>e-mail: [log in to unmask]  **  voice: 412-624-9452
>fax: 412-648-7001  **