Jul 9, 2014

Picture Book Reorganization One Year Later

It has been a little over a year since we reorganized our chidren's picture books into their own scheme.

It has been a year of learning and a few changes. . .

Added general sub-categories
I had previously left a general book on a topic without a sub-category line. It was confusing for shelvers and library patrons. So now if a book has different types of animals, the spine label looks like this:

rather than:

Dropped Multi-Cultural Section
I felt this was an important area to set aside as a resource to share stories outside of our "rural white-bread" Wisconsin experience, emphasis an "I". I thought it might get ignored, but was hopeful people would seek them out. It turned out that our patrons did not check books out from this section as much as they did from some of the other categories. So now, they are on the shelf with the categories that they naturally fit in and will be stumbled upon: friends, family, behavior, stories, etc. This seems really obvious to me now, I'm not sure what I was thinking.

Longer call "numbers"
I had previously used FAVES for my FAVORITES to save space, but it seemed to be counter-intuitive to the whole "do it yourself without codes system" I left the old spine labels as is so we didn't have to buy and print thousands of new labels, but all of our new book spine labels now say: COMMUNITY, FAVORITES, & TRADITIONS instead of COMM, FAVES, and TRADS. All of the call numbers in the catalogs say the entire word, and that is where the patrons look to find where the books are located, problem fixed.

Kid friendly shelf labels
I made picture labels for the subcategories, I am more than happy to forward these on. I did a Google image search of each topic and found the cutest pics I could to put on display! They are just small pictures attached to poster board and covered with Contact Paper, they've been on the shelves almost 9 months and are holding up well.

Other library's adaptations
A few other libraries in our consortium have moved to this scheme over the past year! One of them sent an email out about dropping the P before the main categories.They felt that the colored spines did the trick for them in singling out the books, and I agree they do stick out, I was just worried about finding books on the OPAC.

I had initially planned on genrefying the juvenile chapter books by using colors somehow, which is another reason why I used the P to designate picture books. This project has still not happened as I have been unable to pull together my final vision of how it should look, but it is going to happen some day!

Bottom Line & Final Thoughts:

I would definitely do this again in a heartbeat! It is so much easier for kids to find the types of books they want, and it saves the library staff a ton of reference time.

I REALLY need to add some more princess books and a princess section.  This will just require a commitment. Do princess stories belong in with the Traditional Tales? the Favorites? or the Stories?  Only time will tell....


  1. I'm still in the throes of my reorganization. I'm not going to redo everything but I have seven main categories to play with - Tales (fairy tales/folktales), Things that go, Ourselves, Community, Animals, Nature and Fun. Each of these has a few subcategories - animals has the most, but most only have 3-5. I still have some bumps - not sure if I need a "history" section, and haven't really tackled the animals yet so that could prove more trouble than I expect....it's nice to not have changed everything, so if I can't decide it stays in regular picture book!

    1. I think a lot of the history books can be put into other categories, the same goes for the people section I have as well.

    2. I'd like to get all the picture book biographies in there, since they do nothing but gather dust where they are now, but I haven't wholly convinced my director. So right now I'm gathering all the historical fiction picture books so she can see them all at once.