Monday, September 30, 2013

Banned Books Week 2013 @ the LMC

It's that time of year again: time to celebrate the freedom to read! Banned Books Week is a time to showcase the awesome books we have in our library that have been challenged, banned, and censored elsewhere throughout history. Be sure to stop in the LMC and check out the display of books and grab a bookmark : ) "Banned" books have a brown paper wrapper sealing them shut with the reasons they were banned written across the cover. If a book looks like a good read, though, don't hesitate to take it to the circulation desk and check it out! All Dartmouth High School books are available for check-out, always.

This is a week to take a moment to appreciate what we oftentimes take for granted: the freedom to read, learn, and discover....and the ability to access a wide range of materials to do so.

Happy reading!

~ Mrs. Z

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Welcome Back!

Welcome back DHS students, faculty, and staff! We're excited to start a new school year full of exciting changes in the LMC.

Remember the Dewey system for organizing books? We've changed it to a Dewey-Hybrid system. Each nonfiction book now has a prefix before the Dewey number. For example, a health book that previously had the Dewey Call Number "613.7 YOG" now has the call number "Health - Fitness 613.7 YOG."
  • New book prefixes are words that plainly tell you what subject the book is about. 
  • Adding prefixes helped to reduce the impact of Melvil Dewey's biases on the way we place information in a hierarchy of knowledge (90% of religion is allocated for Christianity under Dewey's system. Biased much?) It also helped to reconnect subjects that have become distanced over the years. When our health classes studied illegal drugs, the books they needed were split between the 300s and 600s (not very easy for browsing). All books on drugs are now shelved together in a section under the "Health" category. These kinds of changes were made throughout the collection to increase the probability of students and staff being able to find the section they are looking for just by browsing on their own.
  • The new system is based on DHS's curriculum. We have English, Social Studies, Health, and Unified Arts departments, among many others. We also have English, Social Studies, Health, and Unified Arts prefixes on our books now. We have a section for each academic department. So if you're working on a Social Studies project, we have an enormous section for that. If your paper is about World War II, we have a smaller section for that. The prefix is "Social Studies - War - World War II." 
  • We used to have a separate Reference section. This led to confusion as many students did not realize that they had to search for the Holocaust in the regular Nonfiction section, as well as in the Reference section to find the Holocaust Encyclopedias. Everything is now merged into one. There is one Holocaust section (Social Studies - Genocides - Holocaust) and it contains nonfiction, reference, and DVD documentaries about the Holocaust. We can now offer one-stop shopping for your paper topics! (*There is still a very small General Reference section, which only includes things like the WorldBook encyclopedia.)
  • All nonfiction videos have been merged with the collection. Documentaries about life in France are in "World Culture - Countries - Europe" along with books about the same topic.
  • Another important change is the Biography section. This change came about based on many student requests for a "sports biography" or a "hollywood actress biography," etc. Most people like to read biographies of certain types of people, whether they are scientists, world leaders, have a historical relevance, or tell a story about a challenge or triumph. (As opposed to, "I'd love to read a biography about someone whose last name begins with G.") For this reason, we have separated the biography sections. Each academic department has its own biography section, while Social Studies carries the bulk of Biography sub-categories. This seems confusing when trying to read about it, but stop in the LMC and we'll show you the sections. It makes browsing the easiest thing ever!
  • It is important to note that while the Fiction section has been moved to a more accessible and visible location in the LMC, the way those books are organized has not changed. Fiction is still shelved alphabetically by author's last name.
  • Each section is color-coded to make it quick and simple to find your favorite section, but please know that we are still working on adding the colored labels. Hopefully the colors will be complete by the end of September. 
Stop in the LMC and check out our Macy's-style directory, complete with a "You Are Here" star! This will show you where each of the new sections is located in the LMC. Questions or comments? Be sure to let us know : )

Best of luck for an awesome start to a new school year!

~ Mrs. Z