Written by Alex Scalise, Lead Library Assistant
Back in 2013, big changes were happening at the Lewiston City Library. Along with relocating from the Orchards to downtown, the library also switched from using the Dewey Decimal System to a different method of organization called the Book Industry Standards and Communication, or simply BISAC.
Most people are familiar with Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) because it has been the traditional method of collection organization throughout the years. When libraries use Dewey, items in the collection are issued a shelfmark number based on the subject of the item. BISAC cuts out the middle-man, with items classified just by subject and not a corresponding number. Similar to how a bookstore would organize their items. BISAC is designed to be more user-friendly and doesn’t require memorization of numbers to locate library materials. For example, the popular autobiography Hillbilly Elegy is listed in Dewey as 305.562089090092, but in BISAC it would simply be under Biography - Vance. Even finding a fiction title like The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells is harder when it is classified as DDC 823.912, but at Lewiston Library it can be found under Fiction - Wells, all thanks to BISAC.
Linked below is a short video for more information on understanding BISAC and how to find books at the Lewiston City Library. Closed captions are available. For anyone interested in learning more about navigating our collection, feel free to ask a Library worker or even check the BISAC website at bisg.org. Happy reading!