Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Sections of my library

A question that comes up quite often in my Professional Learning Community is this: where do you put book x? Book x of course being their example and not a book with the title X. It's always interesting to see how many different answers people will give.
At my school library I'm not dealing with a large collection - around 5000 books at most. I have a large room but it must house a number of things, including tables, computers, shelving, circulation desk, a photocopier and a Steinway grand. Yes, there is a grand piano in my library. My library looks out at the courtyard. It's a lovely space.
It is also naturally divided into two sections. People can use it as one whole room and spread out or two groups can use it at once. I've used that division to help organize the books - fiction on one side and non-fiction and specialized on the other side.
My fiction is divided. I have series fiction, graphic novels and then fiction. Not all of the graphic novels are fiction but I didn't want to lose them in the non-fiction. I use letters on the spine labels to designate each section - S FIC XXX is a series novel, G FIC XXX or G ###.## XXX is a graphic novel and then just FIC XXX for regular fiction. I was finding that a number of kids wanted to read series but had a hard time finding them in the shelves when they weren't separate. Part of this was a shelving issue - sometimes they wouldn't be together on the shelf: one might be at the start of that alphabetical section while the other could be 3/4 of the way through. I need to take on the project of labeling - designating different subsections and areas of interest (LGBTQ, Fantasy, etc). I then have a "New" display and display novels that are newer there. I try to slowly put them out so there's always a supply of them, no matter how my budget looks at that point.
My non-fiction is fairly straightforward. I use Dewey and go from 001 to 999. Then I skip a shelf and have my languages section - French and Spanish mostly and a mix of fiction and non. Those are designated with a FR FIC XXX or FR ###.## XXX. Then another shelf is skipped and I have Holocaust related materials - we do a lot of work with the Holocaust. And then my reference section, which is small. I have a set each of English, Spanish and French encyclopedias as well as some tomes that are more reference like.
The last section in the library is one I keep having to rehome. Right now a lot of it is on carts. It's my local literature section - books, both fiction and non from Newfoundland and Labrador. This is one section that I've not weeded - it's got some old books which aren't in print any more. I really need to sort this one out - I'm out of room where it is so I may need to return it to the section from whence it came - a cubby on the fiction side.
Every library is different - that's mine!


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