The library at Old Cowtown Museum recently received a large donation of books. Former assistant curator Keith Wondra donated over FIFTY books to our library. Subjects include Wichita history, the American West, and Billy the Kid.
To be officially added to the library, these many volumes need to be processed properly. While not a complicated process, processing the books do have certain steps.
First, the books need to be separated into subject categories. In addition to the subjects already mentioned, these new books cover subjects such as Dodge City, Caldwell, and Women in the West.
The next step takes the longest: finding the individual book call numbers. Using the Dewey Decimal System, libraries assign numbers to each book for a frame of reference and ease of locating the book. Books are first assigned a category as follows:
000 – Computer science, information and general works
100 – Philosophy and psychology
200 – Religion
300 – Social sciences
400 – Language
500 – Pure Science
600 – Technology
700 – Arts and recreation
800 – Literature
900 – History and geography
While not all, most of the books in our library are about history and thus given a number in the 900s. Books about the history of Kansas are given the specific number of 978. After this number comes the decimal point to further categorize the book. Counties in Kansas are then given their own numbers; for example, 176 for Ford County and 186 for Sedgwick County. So for a book about the history of Wichita, the call number would be 978.186. Finally, books about Wichita history are then shelved alphabetically by author last name.
With the number found, we can then add it physically to the book. The call numbers are placed on the spine of the book as well as on the check-out card inside the book.
After the final step of stamping the book with the library name, the book is ready to be shelved.