Welcome Library Explorers!

What is Library Explorers Club?

 

What are those numbers at the bottom of the spine of the book? Come and find out!

Join us every month as we explore a different class in the Dewey Decimal System! Learn how to find books around the library, and have a chance to impress family and friends with interesting facts! 

Work at your own pace at home over the month or join us on the last Saturday of the month!

How it works:

There will be different themes each month related to a particular Dewey Decimal range. Each month, you will

  • Choose a nonfiction book (or audio book or watch a documentary or episode from a non-fiction television show) from one of the themes and share something you found interesting.

  • Choose 1 of the activities within that theme. There are 4 options. You only have to do one. Anything beyond that is optional!

  • Don't like the themes? Go with the Free Choice option!

Track your progress online through Wandoo* or a paper Library Passport.

Explore the library over the course of the year to collect digital badges or Passport stickers and earn prizes!

You can find descriptions of each month's Dewey Decimal range, activities, and anything you may want to print below!

*Wandoo Reader is the website used for the Online Summer Library Club. If you tracked or logged your reading online this summer, you can use the same log-in information!

January 2020 : Explore the 300s & 400s!

The 300s Class is called “Social Sciences” and it houses numerous topics including books about government, sociology, anthropology, civil rights, the military, and immigration. It’s also home to fairy tales and folklore, etiquette manuals, and books about customs and holidays.

The 300s is one of the more problematic classes in Dewey. The language used to describe various subdivisions is often considered outdated, and many topics, especially those related to LGBTQ+ and women’s rights, don’t have good categories. Finally, the folklore and fairy tales section doesn’t just include stories such as Cinderella, Aesop’s Fables, and Paul Bunyon, but also origin stories and tales from the belief systems of Native American, African, and other indigenous peoples – essentially not recognizing their beliefs as valid religious practices.

Dewey continues to be used despite these flaws because it is still better than nothing, and other options suffer from nearly the same problems.

 

320s: Political Science

The 320s include information on systems of government, voting, the Civil Rights Movement and more.

ACTIVITIES

Craft – Voting is important! Create a poster encouraging people to vote! Take a photo of your creation and share it with the librarians through Wandoo or by bringing the photo to the library.

 

Write – Write a letter to a local politician on a subject you feel strongly about. You don’t have to send it – though you can if you want to! Take a photo of your letter (or at least a part of it) and share it with the librarians through Wandoo or bring it in for us to see.

 

Worksheet - Download a Civil Rights Movement themed wordsearch here! Take a photo of the completed picture and share it with the librarians through Wandoo or bring it to the library to show us!

 

Bonus Challenge: Read a fiction book!  You can also watch a movie or television show or play a video or tabletop game!

____________________________

330s: Economics
This call number includes information managing money, how money works, and different economic systems.

 

Activities
Craft –  Try to make an origami figure out of a $1 Bill! Take a photo of your creation and share it with the librarians through
Wandoo. Click here for instructions for making an origami heart.

 

Write – What would you do with $1,000,000? Write a short story (or a long one!), illustrations optional. Wordless stories (pictures only) and comics welcome! Take a photo of your story and share it with the librarians through Wandoo or bring it in for us to read. 

Do - Visit the U.S. Treasury Department’s website for kids or the  U.S. Mint's website  for kids. It’s useful for adults, too!

 

Bonus Challenge: Read a fiction book! You can also watch a movie or television show or play a video or tabletop game!

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Free Choice!

Choose any other topics covered by the 300s and share an interesting fact you learn! 

There are no specific activities for free choice! To earn your badge, make something or write a story related to the topic you chose!

____________________________

 

The 400s Class is called “Languages” and it includes dictionaries in different languages as well as information on the alphabet, grammar, and spelling. 


400s: Languages

 

ACTIVITIES

Craft –  Pick a word or words and turn it into an illustration showing its definition! Take a photo of the completed picture and share it with the librarians through Wandoo or bring it to the library to show us! Click here for some ideas.
 
Write – Write an acrostic poem using a word you found in the dictionary! When you write an acrostic poem, the first letter of each line spells out a word. Take a photo of the completed poem and share it with the librarians through
Wandoo or bring it to the library to show us!
 
Do – Watch a movie, television show, or youtube video in a language other than your native language! Or watch something with foreign language subtitles on.
 
Worksheet - Download a crossword worksheet
here! Take a photo of the completed picture and share it with the librarians through Wandoo or bring it to the library to show us!
 
Bonus Challenge: Read a fiction book! You can also watch a movie or television show or play a video or tabletop game!

 

What is the Dewey Decimal System?

The Dewey Decimal System is a way to organize books in a library based on subject - what they are about. It was created by Melville Dewey in the 1870s, and first published in 1876. 

It is designed using base 10 (yes, math).

There are 10 Classes

000 - General Knowledge; 100 - Philosophy & Psychology; 200 - Religion; 300 - Social Sciences; 400 - Language; 500 - Science; 600 - Technology; 700 - Art & Recreation; 800 - Literature; 900 - History & Geography

which are broken into 10 divisions

500 - Science; 510 - Mathematics; 520 - Astronomy; 530 - Physics; 540 - Chemistry; 550 - Earth Science & Geology; 560 - Fossils; 570 - Biology; 580 - Plants; 590 - Animals

which are further divided into 10 sections

590 - Animals; 591 - Specific topics in natural history of animals; 592 - Invertebrates; 593 - Miscellaneous marine & seashore invertebrates; 594 - Mollusks; 595 - Spiders and Insects; 596 - Fish; 597 - Cold-blooded vertebrates (reptiles & amphibians); 598 - Birds; 599 - Mammals

These whole numbers are followed by a decimal point, and the decimal number that follows allows books to be sorted into even narrower categories.

599.1 - Platypus; 599.2 - Marsupials; 599.3 - Rodents & Insectivores; 599.4 - Bats; 599.5 - Whales & Dolphins; 599.6 - Elephants & Hooved animals; 599.7 - Cats, Dogs, and Bears; 599.8 - Non-human Primates; 599.9 - Humans

And they can go on and on! Dewey Decimal numbers can be very broad, stopping at just one, two, or three decimal points, or they can be very specific!

As you use Dewey more, you'll notice that some numbers are almost repetitive - General science experiment guides will be found at 507. Collections of Physics experiments will be found at 530.7, and Chemistry experiments will be under 540.7! 

 

Problems with Dewey:
The Dewey Decimal System isn't perfect. Some of the complaints people have are:

  • It has an inherent bias towards the Western world (Europe and the United States). In the 200s (Religion) Christianity gets 7 divisions! Other world religions have to share just 1 division, and religious beliefs from a variety of cultures, including Africa and Native Americans, are not even in the 200s but are included under fairy tales and folklore! 

  • Language choices can be demeaning - For example, "Social Problems" doesn't sound too bad... until you realize it classifies physical disabilities, learning disorders, and mental health under "Social Welfare Problems!" 

  • Times change, and some topics, such as feminism, women in general, and minorities, were not given much importance by society or Melville Dewey in the 1800s and therefore don't have good call number options.

  • Topics don't always stay together. Are you interested in learning more about the military? Check the 350s for general information about branches of the military, the 623s for books about military vehicles and equipment, and the 900s for specific battles, wars, and units!

So why do we still use it? In short, no library cataloging system is perfect, and many of the established systems have the same problems as Dewey. We could create our own cataloging system, but this is a lot of work and basically means reinventing the wheel. Instead, we've chosen to continue using Dewey while keeping these limitations in mind and doing our best to work around them. 

 

Past Themes

000s:

Oct. 2019

The 000s are home to several topics: Libraries, computers and coding, world records, encyclopedias, and the unexplained.

Click on the following call numbers to download the activities for that topic!

001.9: The Unexplained

UFOs, Bigfoot, and hoaxes, oh my! 001.9 is officially called "Controversial Knowledge" and includes cryptozoology, aliens, hoaxes, superstitions, and what's known as errors - things people often think are true but aren't!

020: Libraries

Libraries are more than just books, and this call number range shares secrets about what librarians do all day and about libraries around the world! There are even books about the Dewey Decimal System found here!

032: World Records

Tallest, Fastest, Oldest, First! These superlatives can be found in collections of records.

Maynard Public Library 77 Nason Street Maynard, MA 01754 Phone 978-897-1010