Behind the Maricopa County Library District’s Dewey-less Plan - 5/31/2007 - Library Journal
Follow-up from Library Journal who has the full scoop.
"Shore says the layout of the branch, which is part of a high school campus in the fast-growing town of Gilbert, also aims to echo bookstores with nooks and crannies aimed "to create a sense of intimacy and privacy." Maricopa outsources all of its cataloging, and Brodart, which provided the opening day collection, worked to translate Dewey to the new taxonomy. In the catalog, the record will indicate the subject heading, and books are then alphabetized by author. "We’ll be working with staff to develop the taxonomy," Shore said. "It’s a small branch, and the collection is not huge. If we open a larger branch, we’d need to fine tune it.""
"Asked about potential pitfalls, Courtright said, "We might find out our customers don’t like it." Added Deputy Director Cindy Kolaczynski, "The pages are probably a little nervous," but she noted that the sections in the library would each be fairly small. She added that staff were hired for the branch who embraced the evolving mission. And, where, for example, might the biography of sports figure go? Probably biography, Shore said, but the library would remain flexible as it assesses patron response. In some cases, the new taxonomy might allow for more granularity; DVDs, for example, won’t be labeled simply as fiction, but will be broken down by genre, as in video stories. Movable bookshelves on wheels, added Shore, will help the library create flexible displays of books."
Interesting thought process. I remember when Basha Library in Chandler did roving reference and basically removed all service desks. The plan lasted about six months because patrons could not find staff to help them. I think it is smart to try something new and to be able to make adjustments to the plan so that is still workable. It is never all or nothing. Browsing is always the key. Very fun stuff.