Public Humiliation (aka the Public Library Game)

Here's a goofy idea I had for a fun (yet embarrassing) entry…

I've been going to public libraries since I was a kid.  I've visited libraries across country like they were tourist attractions (which I guess means that they are – at least for me!).  I've just finished my Master of Library Science degree.  And now I'm going to attempt to recite the top level categories for the Dewey Decimal System (which I probably also just defined wrong – is that what they're called?  Yikes!) from memory: 

Drag your mouse over the white space below to highlight my guesses and the correct answers.  But make sure you try it yourself first and post your score (or even better, your answers.).  No cheating!

000 – Computers,  Books &  Supernatural (Computer science, information and general works.  Close enough – Correct!)
100 – Philosophy (Philosophy and psychology – half a point!)
200 – Religion  (Correct!)
300 – Natural Sciences (Social Sciences)
400 – Applied Science (Language)
500 – Medicine (Science – I'm going to give myself a half-point for this one)
600 – Fine Arts (Technology – I always wondered why they had a section for computers and another for technology?  In fact, you often find computer books in both spots.  I think it's because computers were something so new but which became so pervasive, they needed the space that the 000's provided.)
700 – Sports & Leisure (Arts & Recreation – another half point)
800 – Literature (Correct!)
900 – History, Travel (History and Geography.  Although a proper cataloguer would disagree, let's say close enough – correct!)

Wow, I suck.  What did I get – 5.5/10? I had the right idea on most of them but sometimes had the numbers off by a section or two.  Others, I was way out to lunch.  This will sound like an excuse but I think I would've gotten a few of them if I though it through and visualized the library a bit better rather than going fairly quickly and relying on my gut instinct.  Maybe not though – I would've sworn I had the right answer for the 600's but was way off – hence the size of the comment that goes with it.)

Oh, and the proper term is classes although categories is probably acceptable – at least if I'm reading 025.431 – The Dewey Blog correctly. 

Next time, I'll try to name all 100 sub-classes to redeem myself!

Comments 4

  1. Anonymous wrote:

    What I great idea! A question for you and your readers … Am I the only one who pictures the actual shelves from my public library (where I paged for 4 years) to come up with the answers?

    Posted 09 Feb 2007 at 1:28 pm
  2. Anonymous wrote:

    That's pretty much how I tried to do it too – pictured myself standing in the RPL's central library (that's the most I'm at most frequently but I think it confused me a bit trying to picture it while other library layouts swirled in and out of my mind) and then mentally “walked” to the shelves to see what was on them to twig what each area covered. I think my results show that I spend more time/am more familiar with the bottom (000-200) and top (700-900) of the Dewey system than the middle. Having been a page, did that help you quite a bit? How'd you do? 10/10?

    Posted 10 Feb 2007 at 2:05 pm
  3. Anonymous wrote:

    Actually it did help quite a bit, though not enough for me to get a perfect score… years of shelving by LC in academic libraries has muddled my memory a bit.

    Posted 28 Feb 2007 at 5:56 pm
  4. Anonymous wrote:

    There's hope for all of us yet, I guess!

    Posted 28 Feb 2007 at 9:28 pm

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