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Where’s the Non-Fiction?

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Introducing Non-Fiction Neighborhoods

Upon visiting the new library space, you may have asked “Where’s the non-fiction section?” or “Where are the biographies?”.  Not only did we haul all of the non-fiction books over from the previous library building, but we gave them a facelift too. Allow me to introduce the Non-Fiction Neighborhoods, where we’ve rearranged books to bring complimentary topics closer together for a better browsing experience.

How do the Non-Fiction Neighborhoods work?

Photo of Orange Neighborhood Non-Fiction books.There are 9 neighborhoods and they cover broad subject areas: Arts & Literature; Education, Career and Technology; History; Home; Mind & Body; People; Science; Spirituality; and Travel & Language. Once you find the neighborhood you’re interested in, the books are then arranged by their Dewey decimal number, which you can think of like a street address within the neighborhood. Each neighborhood has its own unique color label as a visual aid.

These books are in the Home neighborhood with an orange color over the call number (see left.)

Why did we change it?Chart of Non-Fiction Neighborhoods by color coded subject

The answer is two-fold. First, the new library’s 2nd floor has limitations on the weight of the book shelves and how they can be spaced out. There wasn’t an easy way to organize all the non-fiction books together with these limitations. Second, the Dewey decimal system is not perfect nor very flexible. Some similar subjects, like psychology and medicine, or foreign languages and travel guides, are not side-by-side in the Dewey decimal system.

With the new neighborhoods, similar topics are closer together, making browsing more intuitive. For example, in the Home neighborhood, you’ll find books on gardening, cooking, and home repairs. See this handy table (right) for all the neighborhoods and subject areas they contain.

When I look up a book, how do I know where to find it?

When you find a book in the catalog, click on “Where is it?” on the right side. If Upper Dublin Library owns it, then check for the call number under the words “Adult Non-Fiction” starting with the neighborhood name (ex. HOME or PEOPLE), followed by the Dewey number. You can even click on the “Map It!” button on the right side to see a map of where the book is in the library. Head to the correct neighborhood shelves. Your book will then be in Dewey decimal number order.
Screen Shot of how to search in non-fiction neighborhoods
Screen shot how to search in stacks of color coded non-fiction neighborhoods.Still feeling lost? Our friendly staff is always ready to help you find what you’re looking for!