By By Tali Balas Kaplan, Andrea K. Dolloff, Sue Giffard, and Jennifer Still-Schiff:
"Our post-Dewey system, which we’ve affectionately dubbed Metis (after the clever, crafty mother of the Greek god Athena), puts things together in a way that encourages kids to move easily from one idea to another. Zack’s natural and simple segue from paper craft to sewing would probably never have happened with Dewey: it would have entailed a jump from 735 to 646. That’s a big reason why a small but growing number of school and public libraries—from the Perry Branch Library in Gilbert, AZ; and Burke High School in Omaha, NE; to the newly opened Carmel Elementary School in Clarksville, TN; and Darien Library in Connecticut—have ditched Dewey, or at least have escorted the 136-year-old system partway out the door.
Has Metis made a difference? Absolutely. During the past year, in our middle-grade library (for kids in grades three to five), we’ve seen dramatic increases in circulation—including around 100 percent or more in our “Sports,” “Countries,” “Humor,” and “Mystery” sections, and a spike of 240 percent in “Machines” (which includes the military and transportation). And in those always under-used sections like “Languages” and what we now call “Community” (sections of the 300s in Dewey), we’ve seen a jump of more than 300 percent. The early grades library, for preK through second-grade kids, has seen similar gains in areas such as “Humor” (87 percent), “Scary” (148 percent), and “Adventure” (110 percent)."