Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Dewey Debate

Huzzah for the idea of moving away from Dewey, that's what I think, though I know the idea is still hotly contested.

Build the Open Shelves Classification

linked from the comments here at "Do We Dewey?" where there are a range of interesting comments, including one pointing out that Dewey is easier for young children to learn. That may be, but I don't think it's a good enough reason to stay with a system that is completely outmoded in its world view. In the Enlightenment*, Western scholars, including Melville Dewey, thought they knew just about everything there was to know in the world, and created a classification system accordingly. They couldn't have been more wrong - and in current times we need a system that can embrace and fully accommodate world cultures and non-Western/Christian thought; one that provides a framework but leaves some flexibility for the future.

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