We’ve had some requests for more details about Metis, so we are posting the main categories here. We’re working on making the full schedules available in the near future.
When we devised the main categories we tried to be, first and foremost, very pragmatic. We were not interested in a system that reflected the state of human knowledge, or that showed an accurate relationship, in academic terms, between one branch of knowledge and another. Instead, we tried to devise a system with our users and their needs and interests at the center, and our curriculum, collection, and library geography a very close second. Our categories are concrete for the most part, reflecting things, genres or fields of interest, not disciplines.
You can see the influence of library geography/layout and the various ages of our users in the choices we made with our fiction categories (X, Y, Z).
We settled on an alphabetic designation for each category in order to achieve an order that made sense. Alphabetical order by name of category would result in Adventure followed by Animals, etc., which would have been unhelpful. We are a school library without any extra space, so we couldn't create display islands which contained related categories. Our system had to work with a strictly linear shelf display. The alphabet code seemed the best choice: it synchronized well with the alphabetical order of the sub-categories; it reflected skills the students were already learning; and it provided us with a base of 26 categories.
Our library has two rooms, PreK-2nd grade, and 3rd-5th grade. The categories in the two rooms are almost identical, but not quite. Category A is Facts in the Upper grade room (for almanacs, world records, etc.), but Concepts in the lower grade room (for alphabet, number, shapes books). The nature of the lower grade books dictated that categories G MakingStuff and H Arts in the upper grades room became GH Arts and Crafts in the lower grades room.
METIS CATEGORIZATION SYSTEM
A. Facts (Upper grades); Concepts (Lower grades)
H. Arts [For Lower grades, GH is a single category, Arts and Crafts]
L. USA (Then and Now)
M. Countries (Then and Now)
P. Tales [including all mythology, religious stories, folk tales]
X. Fiction (Upper grades); Picture Stories (Lower grades)
Y. Beginning Fiction
Z. Middle Fiction