Thursday, June 27, 2019

Mr Dewey Decimal

Known as the father of librarianship, Melvil Dewey invented the Dewey decimal system.
Melvil Dewey (1851- 1931)
Melvil Dewey is know as the "Father of American Librarianship". Among his many innovations were the Dewey Decimal System and he co-founded the American Library Association (ALA). Dewey also established the first school to train librarians at Columbia College in 1887. In spite of disapproval by the Regents at Columbia, he admitted women to the program. However, he had "a persistent inability to control himself around women" and was accused by his female students and colleagues of sexual harassment.

This Sunday, at the ALA conference, there was an overwhelming vote to remove his name from their top librarian award. Dewey also had a history of racism and antisemitism. No one is suggesting that his accomplishments be erased, but “the behaviour demonstrated for decades by Dewey does not represent the stated fundamental values of ALA in equity, diversity, and inclusion”.