I don’t really know what to call what I’m doing to the nonfiction collection at the elementary library. It’s not exactly going whole-hog bookstore model like some. (I love the idea, I think, but actually, I find it easier to find books in a library than a bookstore.) I haven’t even investigated BISAC like I know I should. But I’m doing something, and I think the students are going to love it!
I’m keeping Dewey for the most part. It’s served a great purpose in libraries for over a century and I’m not ready yet to get rid of it completely. The reason I need to modify it, though, is because of the biggest pet peeve I have about my job – spine labels! I detest making them (but am way too cheap to pay for processing of books), and then, even with the best librarian, there are inconsistencies. Heck, I’m inconsistent on the same sheet of labels – do you go two digits after the decimal? One? Zero? And if you aren’t consistent and you adhere to what’s on the label when putting away books, you have books all willy nilly, especially in the 590s (animals). I knew my Junior Librarians struggled with putting nonfiction books away, thinking they had to do it perfectly, and I know this will make it so much easier to shelve books.
So, here’s what I’ve done:
I went through the NF, shelf by shelf, book by book, and made sure that books in the same subject were together. Some didn’t make sense and got moved – mummies in 393 (Customs, etiquette, folklore –> Death customs) instead of with Ancient history? Books on telling time in 681 (Manufacture for specific uses –> Precision instruments) or 529 (Astronomy –> Chronology) instead of Math? Mostly, though, books are where you’d expect them.
My super supportive husband, Rob, cut out some fiberboard for me in his shop, all to size, then my superb associate, Donna, painted them this summer. Some stuck together so we’ll need to fix those up, but today I wrote the different sections – Dinosaurs, Botany, General animals, etc. (see above). On some, I put some guidelines for my Junior Librarians:
Who knows, maybe it’s not that big of a difference. But I know it’s easier to shelve books (I put away a very full cart of NF that had been stacking up) and it will be easier browse. And what good is a NF section if it’s not fun to browse?