Monday, April 17, 2006

On the Importance of UFOs in Libraries

Whenever I walk into a public library, the first books at the start of the call numbers are all about UFOs. Flying saucers, alien visitors, abductions, and so on. That's what any patron sees at the start of the library DDC call number range (001). The first subject at 001--that's an honored position in the Dewey Decimal scheme. I wonder why Dewey thought UFOs deserved that? I wonder if Dewey had ever heard of or seen any UFOs?

Next to UFOs are the computer & Internet books (005). Should the library user make some connection between UFOs and computers? One is about other worlds visiting us, and the other is about us visiting other worlds (virtual ones). Maybe that's why those books are rubbing shoulders.

Huddled close to the start of the DDC range, not far away from UFOs and computers, are library books (021). I assume this means that libraries are considered almost as important as UFOs or computers. But in the Library of Congress classification, library books are shoved all the way to the very end (Z)! So it seems there may be a difference of opinion between LC and DDC concerning the importance of libraries. DDC lovingly places them at the start, while LC has them all the way in the back where no one can find them. Opposite placement. Is this a coincidence?

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