Non-Fiction Books

Non-Fiction Books

Non-fiction simply means writing that is informative and factual rather than a story.  These are the books you will need for doing research.  While many people go straight to the internet for research, you can often find information that is better, more reliable and easier to understand from a good reference book – and the process can be quicker.

All our Non-fiction books are organised by the Dewey Decimal System, which is used by libraries all around the world.  It puts books into sections according to topic.  Below is a listing of the main Dewey Categories.  You will find this list on posters above the Non-fiction shelves, and there are also signs on the shelves showing the locations of some of our most popular topics.  There are also purple booklets in the newspaper rack that give more information on finding books – and you can always ask staff for help.

Main Dewey Decimal Categories:

000 Computer Science, information and general works
100 Philosophy and psychology
200 Religion
300 Social sciences
400 Language
500 Science
600 Technology
700 Arts and recreation
800 Literature
900 History and geography

Each category is then broken into ten sub-categories, and each of these into a further ten specific topics.  These give you the first three numbers on the book, for example: 500 is Science, 530 is Physics and 534 is Sound & Light Vibrations.  These topics can be broken down into even more specific sub-topics, and these are shown by the numbers after the dot.  For a good and easy-to-understand explanation, see this short guide from Oxford Brookes University.


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