In an effort to help children find the information they need, the Rochester Public Library is dropping the Dewey Decimal System for part of their collection.

“Instead of Dewey, we will have a whole-language system called Book Map,” says Head of Youth Services, Heather Acerro. “Organizing our non-fiction books by the Book Map system will make it easier for kids and teens to find the information they want.”

The Book Map system uses words and letters rather than the Dewey Decimal System which uses a combination of letters and numbers. The transition was tested on another part of the library’s collection this past summer, with promising results.

“Book Map was launched on the Bookmobile,” says Acerro, “and we saw a 12% increase in circulation for informational books over the summer months.”

Rochester Public Library isn’t the first to adopt a whole-language classification system. Libraries across the nation are making similar changes to their non-fiction collections. Research and planning for Book Map has been underway for a few years. In all, Acerro estimates over 29,000 books will be organized by the Book Map system. The changeover process is expected to last well into the spring.

“Book Map is designed for browsers to find informational materials,” adds Acerro, “Customers who use the library catalog to find materials will also be able to easily navigate Book Map to get what they need."