DDS: 100, 200, 300, 400…

Organization of the library continues apace. I now have the 000s (General), the 100s (Philosophy & Psychology), 200s (Religion), 300s (Social Science), and 400s as a continuous block on the shelves — or would if the kids didn’t keep interrupting me. In truth, the 300s and 400s need to be moved into position, though they are currently “in order”, and it’s just a matter of keeping them that way during the move from one side of the bookshelf to the other. The 500s are also organized; that’s Natural Sciences, by the way.

I’m discovering I don’t have much in the 600s, which is Technology and Useful Arts. My books on drawing, for example, get filed under “drawing” in the 700s, which is Fine Arts. The books on architecture get filed in 700, as do books on fencing, chess, and cookbooks (and all of my role-playing games, did you know we’re in the 700s? FINE ARTS, people!) Also books on outdoor activities like kayaking and swimming, and Boy Scout manuals. Even computer books go elsewhere (003 and 004: Computers and the Internet). Even my three books on Fashion go in the 740s (under “decoration”), because they’re about historical fashion rather than patterns for manufacturing clothing, or how to dress well (fine arts vs. practical use is the difference between 700 and 600, apparently). So, apparently I need to learn more practical stuff, like gardening and … damn it, gardening is a 700 as well! OK, engineering and blacksmithing are both 600s. So that’s where I need experience, I guess. Big surprise.

The 700s, 800s and 900s remain the biggest hurdle. The 700s are Fine Arts, 800s is literature, and 900s is History. Twenty-three of my forty-two shelves are now in the correct order, and 000-400 are now in a more-or-less contiguous zone. The 500s aren’t contiguous, but only because it contains some tall books that need to go on a specific shelf in order to fit. The 700s are started, and the 600s are… well, there are only six books in my 600s So in one sense, I’m more than half-done.

Oh, but what big hurdles they are! All my art books, history books, poetry, Shakespeare… the one advantage is that as the other shelves get filled, the number of places that the books in these categories can hide is decreasing. And that’s to the good.

Each night, I return the unsorted, un-cataloged books to the empty places in the shelves, and see… space… gradually emerging patterns…. hope… normalcy… ineluctable elegance… shape… sustenance… reason… order…

books that I borrowed and haven’t returned yet. Books that should have been shelved already, and aren’t. Oh, well… back to the book-mines, and then bed.

14 comments

  1. So far…

    so far the disorder is mosty in the 700s through 900s, but it’s growing smaller. Now I just have to keep things organized.

    With only one person pulling the books off the shelf, though, it should be easier.

  2. Every time you mention a section it brings back memories of my local library. Puts a smile on my face every time.

    I was a library page in high school. At one library, I whipped the Children’s Room into shape. At the other, I worked in the 900s, periodicals, and the Worcester Room/Special Collections. There was a real satisfaction in seeing a whole row of shelves organized. There was a corresponding heartbreak to the disorder that immediately followed, but we won’t dwell on that.

  3. Every time you mention a section it brings back memories of my local library. Puts a smile on my face every time.

    I was a library page in high school. At one library, I whipped the Children’s Room into shape. At the other, I worked in the 900s, periodicals, and the Worcester Room/Special Collections. There was a real satisfaction in seeing a whole row of shelves organized. There was a corresponding heartbreak to the disorder that immediately followed, but we won’t dwell on that.

    • So far…

      so far the disorder is mosty in the 700s through 900s, but it’s growing smaller. Now I just have to keep things organized.

      With only one person pulling the books off the shelf, though, it should be easier.

  4. Re: Let someone else???

    I live with my mom as well as with my books. She keeps looking at the room I have taken over for the books and BEGGING to Please at least Alphabetize, PLEASE??? especiallly when she discovers I have two copies of some.

    I’m not fundamentally against getting them into a shelf instead of the all-around-the-room piles. But, I don’t have a real need to have them Organized. If I actually quit my job without finding a new one soon, though, that might start looking like a good time filler!

  5. Let someone else???

    Oh my god. Let someone else organize your books? My goodness, no, of course not. You couldn’t possibly.

    Doing it yourself is very rewarding, though.

  6. Exciting?

    In point of fact, the “in-the-middle” business of organizing and shelving books is not very interesting or exciting. However, it is rewarding in both the long and short term. Today, two kids asked me for books on two different subjects, and rather than hunting for ten minutes or more, I just FOUND them. They were right where they were supposed to be.

    There’s a tremendous satisfaction, though, in organizing the books: I spoke earlier about how there’s this massive re-integration of knowledge that’s occurring as a result of the work, and I really feel like I’m learning more than just the DDS by doing this.

    I think I got the DDS that I’m using from OCLC and from Wikibooks.org, actually.

  7. I’m really enjoying your Tales from the Stacks 🙂
    My enjoyment seems a bit strange because I personally refuse to let anyone even alphabetize my books by author. (My theory – if I’m supposed to read the book, I’ll be able to find it. If not, another one will catch my eye. Of course, this *is* exclusively fiction/fun reading not stuff I actually *need*!)
    Your persistent, satisfied, quiet glee in this accomplishment is infectious 🙂
    Thanks for the vicarious boost!

  8. I’m really enjoying your Tales from the Stacks 🙂
    My enjoyment seems a bit strange because I personally refuse to let anyone even alphabetize my books by author. (My theory – if I’m supposed to read the book, I’ll be able to find it. If not, another one will catch my eye. Of course, this *is* exclusively fiction/fun reading not stuff I actually *need*!)
    Your persistent, satisfied, quiet glee in this accomplishment is infectious 🙂
    Thanks for the vicarious boost!

    • Let someone else???

      Oh my god. Let someone else organize your books? My goodness, no, of course not. You couldn’t possibly.

      Doing it yourself is very rewarding, though.

      • Re: Let someone else???

        I live with my mom as well as with my books. She keeps looking at the room I have taken over for the books and BEGGING to Please at least Alphabetize, PLEASE??? especiallly when she discovers I have two copies of some.

        I’m not fundamentally against getting them into a shelf instead of the all-around-the-room piles. But, I don’t have a real need to have them Organized. If I actually quit my job without finding a new one soon, though, that might start looking like a good time filler!

  9. This is very exciting. I don’t know how deep into your organization you want to get but WorldCat Libraries and OCLC are the perfect hotspots for what you’re doing .

  10. This is very exciting. I don’t know how deep into your organization you want to get but WorldCat Libraries and OCLC are the perfect hotspots for what you’re doing .

    • Exciting?

      In point of fact, the “in-the-middle” business of organizing and shelving books is not very interesting or exciting. However, it is rewarding in both the long and short term. Today, two kids asked me for books on two different subjects, and rather than hunting for ten minutes or more, I just FOUND them. They were right where they were supposed to be.

      There’s a tremendous satisfaction, though, in organizing the books: I spoke earlier about how there’s this massive re-integration of knowledge that’s occurring as a result of the work, and I really feel like I’m learning more than just the DDS by doing this.

      I think I got the DDS that I’m using from OCLC and from Wikibooks.org, actually.

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