If you weren't a regular library user in your youth, it might be difficult for you to find what you're looking for when you're trying to get information. Bookstores and libraries, both in the real world and online, use the same consistent set of categories to organize books to make them easier for readers to find. To help you in your information search, we've listed these common book categories here and what you'll find in them.

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Adult Non-Fiction

This is the most likely place to find factual information on topics like how to handle your finances, where the best places are to go on vacation, or what was the cause of World War II. Books in this category are grouped by topic, each of which is given a representative number in the Dewey Decimal system which runs from 0 to 1,000. Ask a librarian to direct you to the section you need, whether it's finance or travel or memoirs or history.

Adult Fiction

In this section you'll find all the made up stories. These books are listed alphabetically by the author's last name so that it's easier to find books by an author you like. Unfortunately there's no way to select for books that have to do with specific topics unless you do a keyword search or ask a librarian. Fiction may be further categorized into types, such as romance, thriller, mystery, science fiction, and historical.

Junior Fiction

The junior fiction section is divided up the same way as the adult fiction section - alphabetical by author and often separated into types. But the big difference here is that the stories are aimed at young people and feature young people's issues. Picture books and easy readers are aimed at preschool and lower grade kids while junior chapter books are for elementary and middle school readers and young adult fiction is for teens.

Junior Non-Fiction

If you're looking for a brief overview on a topic, the junior fiction section is the place to start. Junior fiction books are classified like adult ones - according to the Dewey Decimal system - so if you want to know the basics about animal habitats, some facts about the rain forest, or see some pictures of wild African cats without having to read a whole treatise or detailed history, look in the junior non fiction section or ask the childrens' librarian. Some books are written for children to ease the anxiety of going to the doctor or dentist, or about the loss of a pet, or even how to make a pet rock!

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