Imagine the Possibilities

Concurrent Program Session

Ditching Dewey: How to Make Searching Your Collection Engaging, Not Enraging

Saturday, March 24, 2018, 10:45 AM - 11:45 AM

Pennsylvania Convention Center, Ballroom B

Many librarians are looking to ditch Dewey for a more relevant 21st century system, but the undertaking seems overwhelming. Two former booksellers turned librarians have taken years of experience watching how people shop and turned their collections into a reader’s paradise — for only the cost of new spine labels, ink, and time! Join this interactive session to learn how you can do the same for your patrons by changing your call number system.

An online version of this concurrent program session was also presented during the PLA 2018 Virtual Conference.

At the end of this session, participants will:

1: Develop a plan and budget for changing their current call numbers to the patron-centric classification system
2: Advocate for making changes to their collections with staff, board members, funders, and patrons
3: Make professional development a priority to the benefit of their library and staff in order to institute a new shelving system

The session organizer(s) identified this session as appropriate for:
Level 1: People with no previous knowledge of the topic.

This session will have: High interaction (examples: facilitated discussion; small group collaborative work; hands-on activity or application)

Handouts: Download 1   Download 2   Download 3   Download 4   Download 5   Download 6   Download 7  

Track: Imagine

Tags: Collections/Tech Services, Adult Services, Collection Development, Continuing Education and Professional Development, Innovation, Organizational Change


Melissa Chiavaroli, Head of Reference
Cumberland Public Library , Cumberland , RI

Melissa Chiavaroli received her MLIS from the University of RI in 2010 after spending more than a decade as a Community Relations Manager for a major bookseller. Her passion for service and the user experience has led her to the Cumberland Public library (RI) where she is the Reference Services Coordinator. She is passionate about advocating the role of libraries in the community and providing innovative services and programs to her patrons.

Danielle Skeldon, Reference Assistant
Cumberland Public Library , Cumberland , RI

Danielle Skeldon is finishing her undergraduate program at SNHU and will then go on to library school for her MLIS. She brings a wealth of energy and enthusiasm to her position along with amazing customer service skills. Her programming talents have people lined up out the doors for her programs! Her background as a bookseller for a major chain made her the perfect assistant for Cumberland's reorganization project.

For questions about…

Cancellation Policy

The PLA 2018 Conference is offered on a cost-recovery basis. PLA reserves the right to cancel all or any part of this event if there is insufficient registration or for other reasons. Neither ALA nor PLA is responsible for cancellation charges assessed by the airlines or travel agencies, or other losses incurred due to the cancellation of the workshops. All information listed on this website is subject to change.

Attendee Cancellation Policy

Written cancellations, requests for refunds, and/or changes will be accepted until February 23, 2018, and are subject to a $30 handling fee. Refunds will be processed after April 23, 2018. According to PLA policy, all meal events require preregistration. The above cancellation/change information also applies to all preconferences, meal events, and tours. No meal tickets will be sold onsite.

Exhibitor Cancellation Policy

All booth space cancellation requests must be received in writing by Show Management (Corcoran Expositions). If space is reduced, the net reduction of space will be treated as a cancellation of that space. If Show Management receives a written request for cancellation of space on or before October 31, 2017, the exhibitor will be eligible for a refund less the nonrefundable deposit of $950 per 100 square feet of exhibit space. For cancellations received after October 31, 2017, exhibitors are liable for 100% of the cost of space.


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Thank You PLA 2018 Conference Sponsors!

Other Questions

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PLA 2016 Archive

Looking for handouts and other information from the PLA 2016 Conference, which took place April 5–9, 2016 in Denver, CO? The PLA 2016 Conference website has been archived at

View the list of past PLA Conferences from 1983 to present.