Takoma Park Maryland Library · 101 Philadelphia Avenue · Takoma Park Maryland 20912 USA · 301.891.7259

April 26, 2007

Spring 07 Book Sale

May 19th, Library Lawn

Many thanks to all who have donated so many great books. The library is still accepting donations ... until we run out of storage space.

Posted by library at 10:26 AM

April 20, 2007

Dewey Words

On into the Dewey jungle. Only the intrepid need follow.
treking through the jungle
Dewey classification is more than just a straightforward means of organizing books by subject, 500=science 600=technology etc. Many special little number snippets carry meaning for the initiated. And they can pop up anywhere.

Example: 03 can mean dictionary or encyclopedia. Remember the earlier Dewey post that mentioned the International Encyclopedia of Dance? The Montgomery County libraries assigned a call number 792.8 which tells you this is a general work about all kinds of dancing. Takoma Park and PG stuck on an extra couple of digits making it 792.803 which adds the information that it is in encyclopedia format. Of course you already knew that from the title.

503 McGraw-Hill encyclopedia of science & technology
747.03 Encyclopedia of interior design .
You only need a leading 5 to say "science". You need a full three digits, 747, to say "interior design".

Another example: 73 can indicate the United States as a whole. So 917.3 is geography - US, 973 is history - US. Books in 920.73 are collections of short biographies of Americans. (By the way, 92 is itself an important snippit - meaning biography.)

Beware though of the call numbers of many of the older books in our library. Numbers were sometimes truncated at an arbitrary two or three digits after the decimal point - slicing right through units of meaning.

Homework: take any fairly recent book you have at home, borrowed from the library or your own. Look at the back side of one of the first pages. See a brief cataloging record? Can you find the Dewey number? The little apostrophes indicate the breaks between "words", between units of meaning.

Microwave gourmet. 641.5 ' 882
641.5 (cooking) 882 (the microwave part)

A quick decoding example from the picture.
599 mammals
599.75 family=Felidae
599.752 genus=Felis
599.752 ' 4 species=concolor i.e. Felis concolor (panther)

And the bridge?
bridges = 624.2

Our fiction recommendation: Thonton Wilder's The Bridge of San Luis Rey. Pulitzer Prize winner in 1928, it is the granddaddy of the disaster book/flick. Suggested Dewey? 813.52

You can use an online database to get a suggested Dewey number for any ISBN. Or if you are cataloging your own books using LibraryThing, you might want to look at the Dewey numbers there. Just bring up any book you own and click on "book information". The Dewey numbers will have space breaks between meaningful units.

Posted by library at 11:24 AM

April 12, 2007


wizard in a tree398.368 Hagened The Spirit of Trees: Science, Symbiosis, and Inspiration by Fred Hageneder
Quick Dewey lesson: 398 is folklore.

Now two book lists for Arbor Day.

A. Living Trees

  1. Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree
  2. The various trees in Tolkein's Lord of the Rings series see: Tolkein and his Trees
  3. Lloyd Alexander's The Wizard in the Tree
  4. So You Want to be a Wizard by Diane Duane
  5. Tree in the Trail by Holling Clancy Holling
  6. An Elm Tree and 3 Sisters, Norma Sommerdorf
  7. and the Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne

B. What Is That Tree?
You can bring a leaf in to the library and look through the books or you can do it the other way round, check out a book and walk it round to the trees.
  1. J 582.16 ARNOSKY Crinkleroot's guide to knowing the trees / by Jim Arnosky
  2. J 582.16 LYON A B Cedar : an alphabet of trees / by George Ella Lyon ; designed and illustrated by Tom Parker
  3. 582.16 PETRIDE A field guide to eastern trees : eastern United States and Canada, including the Midwest / George A. Petrides ; illustrated by Janet Wehr
  4. MD-R 582.16 LEAF Leaf key to common trees in Maryland
  5. 582.16 PETRIDE A field guide to trees and shrubs : northeastern and north-central United States and southeastern and south-central Canada / George A. Petrides ; illustrations by George A. Petrides and Roger Tory Peterson
  6. 582.16 PLOTNIK The urban tree book : an uncommon field guide for city and town / Arthur Plotnik ; in consultation with The Morton Arboretum ; illustrated by Mary H. Phelan.
  7. 582.16 S988 The tree identification book: a new method for the practical identification and recognition of trees / Photos. by Stephen V. Chelminski.
  8. 582.1609 BLOUIN An eclectic guide to trees east of the Rockies / Glen Blouin.
  9. R 582.16 C552 City of Trees : the complete field guide to the trees of Washington, D.C. / text by Melanie Choukas-Bradley ; illustrations by Polly Alexander

Posted by library at 10:19 AM