Response Post, version Last: Scarlett Taylor

“the one with the lions in front” – I like this description in a book.

I did enjoy Weinberger’s indictment of Dewey in their article – we must always remember in these conversations about classification that it has all been built on a flawed, white Christian male supremacist lens of a base. While Weinberger does ask the question “why don’t we fix it?”, which, after reading too much detail about Dewey, I did not expect them to answer. But they did – saying essentially that even if we do revamp the entire structure in light of a hopefully less People-Like-Dewey-centric view, it will take work and people will still complain.

I am entirely unconvinced that this is a reason not to change a dated system that close to all librarians admit is problematically biased.  They say “But that isn’t a good enough answer if you’re organizing physical objects,” as though it is a good enough answer to any question. They also see (continued) greatness in Dewey’s system because it lets patrons in libraries physically explore “What We Know.” This seemed absurd to me because hey man, it’s 2007, there are different cataloging systems with less messed up classification that also allow readers to browse books by subject in a physical library setting. This was a revolutionary system at the time it was designed, but that is not an excuse to leave it untouched.


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