Posted on June 27, 2019 at 8:53 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek
They’ll still use the Dewey Decimal System, but the American Library Association will no longer be handing out the Melvil Dewey Medal.
The ALA’s top professional award is being renamed, reports the Guardian, because “the behavior demonstrated for decades by Dewey does not represent the stated fundamental values of ALA in equity, diversity, and inclusion.”
Dewey’s anti-Semitism has long been a matter of fact — he lost his job as New York State Library director in 1906 over it.
His sexual harassment was documented during his lifetime as well, notably by Los Angeles Public Library head librarian Tessa Kelso, though it surfaced in modern times only after a 1996 biography brought up the issue.
The ALA, whose founders include Dewey, doesn’t have a new name for the award yet, nor does it have plans to rename or abandon the cataloging system he created.
Categories: Today in Books