Defunking Dewey: Taking fiction out of the equation

Document Type



Australian School Library Association

Place of Publication

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory


School of Computer and Security Science




Valli, R., & Combes, B. (2007). Defunking Dewey: Taking fiction out of the equation. Australian School Library Association.


Finding information in the twenty-first century can be a daunting prospect. The new information landscape is overloaded, increasingly complex and dense, and characterised by rapidly evolving technologies that are both convergent and divergent, with new and exciting formats and a variety of delivery modes. We also use a range of words to describe information. Only fifty years ago, the information landscape was so much simpler. Traditional descriptions began with two categories fiction or nonfiction, a simple dichotomy. However, in today’s information landscape new categories using a wide variety of descriptors are increasingly more common. Is it any wonder that our students are confused? In view of this increasing complexity and the development of information sources that are multifaceted, perhaps it is now time to seriously reconsider how we describe and present information resources. Perhaps it is time to take the term fiction out of our library collections.

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