• Post author:
  • Post category:Adults

Welcome back to Do You Know Dewey? Today, we’re looking at the 000s! This classification is usually described as “General Works,” “Information,” or “Knowledge,” and I tend to think of it almost as a reference section, but there’s so much more to it than that. From computers to libraries and the pursuit of knowledge, we have a lot to cover here! Let’s take a look!

000 (General Works)

The very first section of each big Dewey classification is a real general catch-all of sorts. In this case, 000 is the most general works of the General Works.

001 (Knowledge)

Moving right along, we have knowledge (again, in a very broad sense). These books are book about knowledge itself. For example, you’ll find books on scholarship (as in the act of being a scholar, not scholarships for school), the humanities, and research. But, my favorite part is a little section called 001.9, officially referred to as Controversial Knowledge. This little section covers everything from aliens to Atlantis, Bigfoot to the Bermuda triangle, Nessie, UFOs, superstitions, and more! Whether you consider it “hokum” or “the truth”, these topics of fringe science and crypto-zoology always make for interesting reading!

002 (Books)

Classification 002 is all about books, which sounds like the best classification in the library, doesn’t it? These are the books on book history. As of this writing, we only have one book shelved in 002, and it’s all about books bound in the most gruesome material imaginable– human skin! (ugh!)

003 (Systems)

Here, you’ll find books on information theory, computer modelling and simulation, theories of communication, and various kinds of computer systems. When I say “computer systems,” I’m not referring so much to an operating system, like Windows, but to networks.

004 (Computer Science)

004 is computer science and data processing.  If you’re looking to troubleshoot your computer, then you’ll want to check out 004.  Here you’ll find books on all your computer basics and how to use various programs and devices.  Want to learn more about Android, MacBook, Raspberry Pi, or Chromebook?  What about Apple Watches, Zoom, or Cloud Security?  It’s all in 004.

005 (Computer Programming)

If you want to learn about HTML, Python, or another coding language, you’ll want to check out 005, which, as the heading says, is all about computer programming.

006 (Special Computer Methods)

This is another sort of catch-all, designed, as the DDC says, for computer methods “not otherwise provided for”. From barcoding and artificial intelligence, to graphics, blogs, and augmented and virtual reality, this is a bit of a mixed bag of really interesting topics. You’ll also find pattern and speech recognition, web design, and a whole host of social media platforms like Facebook, Tik Tok, and X (the platform formerly known as Twitter) under this classification.

007-009 (Unassigned)

Sometimes, for a variety of reasons, you’ll find an area of MDS that is “unused”.  Sometimes it was never used and other times it was used, but has since been removed from use.  Whenever possible, I’ll try to give you the inside scoop.

007 has not been used since DDS Edition 16 (which was published in 1958).  Even though this area is not used anymore, you might find it interesting to know that it once was used to house non-book materials, such as maps, globes, motion pictures, notated music, sound recordings, microfilm, and microfiche.

On the flip-side, 008-009 were never assigned, so there is nothing shelved under that heading, but I suppose there could be someday.

010 (Bibliography)

We’ve all heard the term “bibliography” from writing research papers in school.  The short and sweet definition for this section of the library is “books containing lists of books,” which makes it a great place to stop if you’re not sure what to read next. Think of “1001 Books to Read Before You Die” and similar titles!

 020 (Library and Information Science)

So, you want to be a librarian? Then 020 is your classification! And it should come as no surprise that Dewey gave Library Science such a prominent place in his classification system. This section covers principles of Library Science, the founding of libraries, buildings, rules for staff, the library as a research institute and as a place of recreation, and even its relationship within the community. And it goes deeper than that, with sections on collection development, weeding, censorship, the cataloging system, and more!

 030 (General Encyclopedic Works)

Depending on your personal definition of entertainment, classification 030 can either be really cool or really dull. This section is made up of encyclopedias! You’ll also find books like The Old Farmer’s Almanac.

040 (Unassigned)

040 is currently unassigned, but it was used at one point for “special topics.”  It was harder than I thought it would be to find anything about what that actually meant.    Some sources cryptically hinted that it was used for essays, while others said “formerly biographies”.  Regardless, you’re not likely to find anything shelved here anymore.

050 (Periodicals)

Most modern libraries have a separate section for shelving periodicals, which includes newspapers, magazines, and serials.  Here at WPPL, you can find all of these in our magazine room.  But, if you want to be really Dewey official, you can shelve these types of materials in 050.

060 (Associations, Organizations, and Museums)

The 060s include, but are not limited to books on organizations, conferences, congresses, museums, and societies.  This can include anything from how to organize a committee to the content of various museums.

070 (News, Media, Journalism, and Publishing)

As you’ll find with many, many areas of Dewey, a section is broken down by country or geographic location, in addition to topic.  So, for example, 071 would include Journalism of North America, while 072 is journalism of the British Isles, and 078 is for Scandinavia.  That being said, the 070s are your go-to area for anything on journalism or the publishing industry.

080 (General Collections)

And what, pray tell, does “General Collections” mean?  In my research, this always felt a little hard to pin down.  However, LibraryThing makes is a lot easier to digest, describing the area as Anthologies and Quotations, which is exactly what it sounds like.  In our collection, we have books of quotes and Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader.  Quite the mixed bag!

090 (Manuscripts, Rare Books, and Other Rare Printed Materials)

So, this section isn’t really full of rare books (if you have a rare book on a specific topic, like say cooking or ghosts, you’re supposed to shelve it with the other books on that topic). Rather, class 090 is for books about rare books. This would include titles on special books, incunabula, and even forgeries and hoaxes.


I'm the Reader's Advisory Librarian at WPPL. My interests include old horror films, classic novels, manga and anime, paper-crafting, and plants. If you like my suggestions, you can request personalized recommendations from me on My Librarian page.