Sunday, May 15, 2011

The End of Dewey Decimal?

The new Joe and Rika Mansueto Library at the University of Chicago:

Does this mean the end of the Dewey Decimal system?

This is a very interesting setup, but I am surprised if this is the first library to do this. My only issue with it is that it takes my favorite part of the library (or bookstore) away. Sure it is great if you have a laser focus on the book that you are looking for but not so good for browsing. Me, I like to browse. I go in with a certain book on my mind, but after thumbing through the others around it I may leave with something different. A good website setup can alleviate much of this, but you are lacking the tactile feedback that I love (son of a librarian).

Will/are books dying off like magazines and newspapers? While I am one hundred percent in for the web replacing the periodicals, I am not sure I feel the same with books. I did recently read Colonel Roosevelt by Edmund Morris* on the Kindle app on my phone and enjoyed the experience, I would have enjoyed it more in book form. I picked up the Kindle version as I was going on vacation and my phone is one hundred times more portable than the hardback, which I also own. Hell, it wouldn't even fit in my cargo pocket let alone the front pocket where I keep my phone. Only two other negatives that I can come up with for digital versions. When your battery dies, no more reading for you, and when traveling, you cant read between leaving the gate and ten thousand feet. The latter is no big deal for me if I get a window seat, my nose is flattened against the window looking outside that whole time.


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