• Melvil Dewey

    1851 - 1931


     Creator of the Dewey Decimal Classification System

    Biography: Melvil Dewey is the founder of the library classification method now known as the Dewey Decimal Classification System, or more simply the Dewey Decimal system. While working as a librarian at Amherst College, Melvil Dewey developed a system of book classification which divided nonfiction books into 10 broad categories. In Dewey's system, books were labeled and ordered on shelves by topic, using numbers from 000 to 999. Dewey's system was a big hit! By the time of his death, the system was being used in over 96% of all American libraries. Dewey also helped found the American Library Association and is credited with creating the world's first library science college.


    Part 2: The Dewey Decimal Classification System

    The Dewey Decimal Classification system organizes information into 10 categories. Non-fiction books are organized into these 10 categories by being assigned a specific number that represents a specific topic. 

    Here are the 10 major categories of the Dewey Decimal system:



    Part 3: Popular Non-fiction Topics and Their Dewey Decimal Numbers

    Some Dewey Decimal numbers are used more often than others in elementary school libraries because students like to take out books on some topics more than others.

    Here are the most popular topics and their Dewey Decimal numbers:


    Part 4: Fun Dewey Decimal Videos

    When you are done with the webquest, watch these YouTube videos to have a little FUN the Dewey Decimal system!