I don't have anything to complain about yet (not really...) because I'm stupidly happy to have a job in a library. Which I haven't actually started yet. But I have a question for folks like me who might be recovering Dewey Decimal snobs.
So, a little about me: my mom's a reference librarian, so in some ways I literally grew up in the library. I'm old enough that the first thing I learned how to use to look things up was the card catalog, and I was pretty literate in that by first grade. I used to use the microfiche for fun. Does anybody else remember those big green bound encyclopedia-like sets of magazine article citations? Yeah I was all about those. My mom's library got its first computerized cataloging system when I was in 6th grade or so, and I got pretty good on that (though I admit I still miss the "aimlessly leafing through the catalog and finding something you've never even thought about that is really interesting" aspect of the card catalog). I'm also pretty independent. I think that even if my mom wasn't a librarian, I would still have learned all these cataloging systems, because I learn systems and patterns pretty easily, and I hate to ask for help, so I'll muddle along until I figure something out. Intellectually, it's one of those things that I understand is not universal to all people, but on a practical level, I forget that not everyone learned to use EBSCO in fifth grade, or care to know.
Oh, and I worked in a public library as a page for seven years. So I know and love the Dewey Decimal system, even with all its random ridiculousness.
Life took me away from the library for five years or so, but I just got hired to be a page at a new district. I haven't even started yet, but I have an issue that I would like to sound on the community about. This district doesn't use Dewey. They use the idea of "neighborhoods." The library is organized more like a bookstore, with nonfiction divided up into categories that can be two deep (for example, "Gardening" is one category, then below that you can have "Gardening, Organic"). Within sub-categories I believe the books are alphabetical by title.
I can see that this makes it easier to browse, and the library has up a lot of signage to make it easier to find categories by sight (though they also have 12' shelving so you can't see *over* things to the next aisle over). And I can see that it doesn't make it any harder for those looking things up in a catalog first. And I worked in a music store where we had to convince customers that yes, the store was in fact organized alphabetically, and that Michael Jackson does not belong in the M's, so I understand that even the most basic of organizing systems can be beyond the normal consumer. But still. I don't feel like it's asking too much of people to be familiar with Dewey or, god forbid, the LoC system. Are there really people getting so fed up with their inability to learn Dewey (or, at the very least, unable to follow the numbers along) that they're storming out of the library in frustration without finding their books? And I can just...forget about authors entirely, I guess? Is Dewey really that hard? Maybe I'm just annoyed that having the number 636.70887 burned into my head will never come in handy again.
I feel like I need to get over this, not just so that I don't let judgments slip at work, but because I want to enjoy my job and if I'm harboring secret bitterness over the lack of Dewey that's just not going to happen. I also want to be able to talk about my new district positively to friends and family that ask me about the job. So if anyone can give me perspectives other than "Well, I guess it's easier...." that'd be appreciated.