Jacksonville Public Library

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Dewey Decimal System

Many years ago, a man named Melvil Dewey devised a numbering system for classifying books. This system — named in his honor as the Dewey Decimal System — has been adopted by libraries the world over. It organizes information into 10 broad areas, which are broken into smaller and smaller topics. Different topics are assigned numbers, known as "call numbers." In our library, nonfiction books for the children's section are denoted by the letter J placed before this call number.

A list of some of the information you can find in the different Dewey Decimal areas, appears below.

  • 000-099 General Knowledge
    Almanacs, Encyclopedias, Libraries, Museums, Newspapers ...
  • 100-199 Psychology and Philosophy
    Death & Dying, Ethics, Feelings, Logic, Making Friends, Optical Illusions, Superstitions ...
  • 200-299 Religions and Mythology
    Amish, Bible Stories, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Quakers, Shakers ...
  • 300-399 Social Sciences and Folklore
    Careers, Customs, Environment, Families, Government, Manners, Money, Recycling ...
  • 400-499 Languages and Grammar
    Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Sign Language, Spanish ...
  • 500-599 Math and Science
    Animals, Biology, Chemistry, Dinosaurs, Fish, Geology, Insects, Physics, Planets, Plants ...
  • 600-699 Medicine and Technology
    Computers, Engineering, Farming, Health, Human Body, Manufacturing, Nutrition, Cooking ...
  • 700-799 Arts & Recreation
    Architecture, Crafts, Drawing, Games, Jokes, Music, Puppets, Songbooks, Sports ...
  • 800-899 Literature
    Literature, Plays, Poetry, Shakespeare, Writing ...
  • 900-999 Geography and History *
    Biographies, Countries, Native Americans, States, Travel, Wars ...

    * Travel books are classified 910-919

Other classifications our library uses for items include:

  • BIO
    Biography/Autobiography (these are generally adult biographies/autobiographies.  Biographies on the children's side of the library are classified in the appropriate subject area).

  • E
    Easy Readers
  • JF
    Juvenile Fiction
    Juvenile Mystery
    Juvenile Science Fiction
    Juvenile Short Stories
    Juvenile Reference Books/Reference Books
    (NOTE: These books cannot be checked out)
  • JPL HE
    Home Education Videos/DVDs
    (NOTE: You must be 18 to check out videos/DVDs)

  • RB
    Reserve/rare books
    (NOTE: These books cannot be checked out)

  • SPA
    Spanish books

  • YF
    Young Adult Fiction

    Young Adult Mystery

    Young Adult Science Fiction

    Young Adult Short Stories

  • KIT
    Books and media (tape/CD/video/DVD) together - in plastic bags or cases

  • T
    Books on tape/CD

  • VC
    Video collection (videocassettes/DVDs)
    (NOTE: You must be 18 to check out videos/DVDs)