Dewey Decimal System Project Installed in High School Library

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by Anna Skinner, courtesy of Current in Carmel

To some, a library visit may conjure up mental images of dusty shelves and a boring assignment.  However, Carmel (CA) High School Librarian Terri Ramos and artist Carolyn Martens worked to make visiting the CHS library colorful and inviting.

Ramos and Martens came up with ideas to represent the 10 areas of the Dewey Decimal System through art. Martens sketched out each idea and then painted 12 panels to be hung across available space in the library.

“We have this great, big space that’s kind of blank, and we wanted something that would pull students in and help them understand Dewey and the different areas they can explore in nonfiction,” Ramos said. “I approached Carolyn, who had done some work for the elementary and middle schools, and I thought she would be perfect to bring to life what I had in my head.”

Ramos and Martens met in October of last year, and they came up with the panel ideas by November and December. Multiple concepts per each nonfiction area are displayed on the 5-by-4-foot panels. Each panel took approximately two weeks to paint, and they were installed the first week of August. Approximately 70 concepts are painted on the panels.

“This project has been fun for me because it combines my passion for education and Carmel schools, and also, I’m a big reader, and I love libraries, and of course I love art,” said Martens, whose children attend Carmel Clay Schools. “It’s been a win for me all the way around. Visual learning is so fast … Since these are visual symbols, (students) can look up and just get the feeling of that section right away.”