The Universe and Me

Friday, September 02, 2005


If you happen to be wandering in New York City at the corner of Madison Avenue and 41st Street, check out, or check into, the Library Hotel. Rooms in the hotel are themed according to the Dewey Decimal System. They are also numbered somewhat according to Dewey. As a cataloger, I cringe at their errors, but as a person (a far separate entity from a cataloger!), I admire their creativity. The 3rd floor stands for social sciences. The 4th floor for languages. On the 5th floor, corresponding to Dewey’s math and science classification, you can stay in rooms based on astronomy, botany or law. On the 7th floor (the arts), archaeology, photography or music. Personally, you’d find me in room 839.6, if it existed. There I’d be reading some Icelandic saga or other. The hotel was actually sued a few years ago for copyright infringement by OCLC, the online computer library center, or as I like to call it, the Mothership. I don’t think anyone ever dreamed the Dewey Decimal System was copyrighted. The hotel settled the case by making a donation to a non-profit organization that promotes reading by children. Room service.


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