Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Cheers for Dewey Decimal: National Library Week & National Poetry Month

(Photo by Maggie Appleton, CC by SA 2.0)

I grew up with the Dewey Decimal System, which is still used in many school and public libraries. Certain Dewey Decimal numbers feel like home to me. Here's a poem about my favorite. What's yours?

Dewey Decimal, the Library Guide

Dewey Decimal helps me find
Just the books I have in mind.
Zeros are the books on media,
Computer books, encyclopedias.

Next come one hundreds and twos,
Books on thoughts, beliefs, and views.
Three hundreds cover human groups—
Families, schools, and army troops.

Books on language make up fours,
Fives are animals and more.
Sixes tell of health and cooking—
Not what I want. I’ll keep looking.

Seven hundreds are the arts—
Music, painting, acting parts.
Nine hundreds cover every place
In history of the human race.

Eight hundreds, here I am at last.
Stories told from ages past,
Poems and plays I read with pride.
Dewey Decimal is my guide.
                  --Jane Heitman Healy, c2015

Happy Reading! Happy National Library Week! Happy National Poetry Month!


  1. 800s are my favorite too, but I kind of get around everywhere! Wonderful poem, Jane.

    1. Thanks for leaving your kind words here, Linda B.

  2. I LOVE it! I'll share with my students! I'm currently introducing 2nd graders to Mr. Dewey! I use my awesome Dewey Puppet with his book/section puppets & Toni Buzzeo's book THE GREAT DEWEY HUNT! Your poem will be the perfect addition!

    1. Thanks for your enthusiastic endorsement, Mrs. Merrill! I wish I could be in your class! Happy hunting! :)

  3. Your poem is so fun!! I gravitate towards the 800s and 900s.

    1. Thanks, Debbie! The 900s are another great wonderland!