Dewey Double-Dip: DDC 735 & 300

by Gerard

Last weekend I was in New York while my wife attended a conference. Her schedule of talks, poster sessions, and symposia gave me ample time to scurry off to the Manhattan Public Library and see if I couldn’t find a few books to help tick off some sections.

Since I had quite a bit of time, I was able to get two books read. Granted, they aren’t very exciting or one-of-a-kind finds, it was still a thrill to read in a historical building.

DDC_735

735.235: Senie, Harriet. Contemporary Public Sculpture: Tradition, Transformation, and Controversy. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992. 234 pp. ISBN 0-1950-7318-5.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 700: Fine Arts
  • 730: Sculpture, ceramics, or metalwork
  • 735: Sculpture from 1400 BCE
  • 735.2: Specific periods
  • 735.23: 20th century
  • 735.235: Late 20th century

Harriet Senie’s catalogue of public sculpture in the US (and a few in Europe) in Contemporary Public Sculpture is an interesting and dense gallop through the art scene of the late-twentieth century. Her timeline starts in the 1960s and discusses how the installation of public sculpture in many cities and business has helped bring art to the masses. Her history shows that modern pieces have pushed aside the traditional horse and statesmen statues of the 19th century and allowed for a freer form of artistic expression. In many cases, public sculpture has helped to better integrate urban spaces with parks and natural alcoves.

Also, her goal is help explain how public art impacts one’s senses and why it is necessary. Her premise is that art requires consumption and the best way to ensure that is to place in a very public venue. She discusses how many times the public reacted in not quite the predictable way, but for it seems like any reaction is a good one. Nowadays, it seems like people just walk right past art in their own backyard. I recognized many of the pieces in the book from my travels across the US, but now I think I’ll look harder at the urban landscape to see if I can spot more. The only detraction in this book is that the illustrations are not in color. I’m a big proponent of showing pieces as close as possible to the original.

DDC_300

300.723: Fink, Arlene. How to Conduct Surveys: A Step-by-Step Guide. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2006. 101 pp. ISBN 1-4129-1423-X.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 300: Social Sciences
  • 300.72: Research
  • 300.723: Descriptive research

This a pretty straightforward book, so my review won’t be that long. Arlene Fink’s How to Conduct Surveys is a crash course in survey design, implementation, and analysis. She walks the reader through how best to phrase and order questions, how to monitor for validity, how to administer the survey without bias, and how to compile the results into meaningful articles. While the main people in her audience are beginning social science researchers, I found this one to be quite informative as well. It even has a whole section on which statistical tools to use based on how the data is coded. A quick and practical book.

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