Since You Asked: Phone books change as dialing area grows

When the Dex phone books arrived this spring, I was momentarily confused when I flipped open the white pages and I couldn't find any businesses.

While I soon figured out that residences and businesses are in separate sections, I still don't know why. What's up with the whole new organization that makes me briefly unable to use a phone book?

— April W., Medford

The two sections are designed to make it easier to find things, especially as the number of listings grows, explained Pete Larmey, an external communication manager with Dex One, the company that publishes the directory.

Dex's directories in larger cities are organized in this format, and surveys have found that consumers prefer separate lists for residential and business numbers, he said.

"As a community grows, we try to update the book to serve its needs," Larmey said. "With more people and more businesses, rather than combing through a mix, it's a little bit easier to just go to one or the other."

So consider the new sections — as well as sections for Grants Pass businesses and professionals and Yreka — as a sign that little, old Medford and its phone book are growing up.

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by e-mail to

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