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Ingenious Library Offers Discreet Way For Patrons To Find Sensitive Subjects Privately

Image shows a partial list of sensitive subjects with their Dewey decimal system location in a library.

Public libraries lend people all the information in the world free of charge. When you need information, you can always head to the nearest library with a book list and find it. However, some subjects are sensitive, making patrons hesitant to ask for help finding them.

Stock image of a New York public library.
Image from Wikimedia Commons.

Libraries are organized using the Dewey Decimal System, developed in 1873 by Melvil Dewey. Since its publication in 1876, it has been the mainstay for all public libraries. Card Catalogs are rows of tiny file drawers containing cards for every book in a library. Computerized databases offering various search options have replaced many physical card catalogs. People searching for sensitive information might hesitate to use these methods in a library, making it more difficult to compile a book list. One library found a way to help people discretely by posting this handy list.

The list contains many subjects people might seek, such as suicide, eating disorders, anxiety, infertility, and more. Each category includes the Dewey decimal number for that subject. For example, people curious about depression can find that information in section 618.85 or abuse in section 362.76. The handy list guides patrons without using a card catalog, computerized search, or asking a librarian.

Stock image of a row of card catalog files found in a library.
Image from Wikimedia Commons.

The list begins with, “TOUGH TOPICS Everything you want to know, but don’t really want to ask.” The bottom of the homemade poster adds, “As librarians, we’re not here to judge. We’re here to help.” The short message reflects a non-judgemental acceptance. You never have to fear your search history or the potential of leaving a digital fingerprint.

Please share this awesome list with anyone who might need to make a library book list for sensitive subjects but is afraid to ask.

You can find the source of this story’s featured image here.

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