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Melvil Dewey

library system decimal librarian

Dewey, Melvil (1851–1931), U.S. librarian, inventor of the scheme for organizing library collections known as the Dewey decimal classification system. The system uses the numbers 000 to 999 to cover broad subjects, while more specific knowledge is classified using decimals. In 1876 Dewey helped found the American Library Association and the Library Journal. As chief librarian at Columbia College, he founded the School of Library Economy (1887), the first professional school for teaching librarians. From 1889 to 1906 he was director of the New York State Library.

See also: Dewey decimal system.

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