Summertime fun

How has it been over a month since I blogged??

It’s summer – finally!  For the first time ever (as a student, mom, and teacher), school went into June, what with all the snow days.  But never fear, Donna and I are finally able to get to work on our summer projects.  The first one is:

Bookstore Model

And not some squishy way like I did before.  I mean, the kids loved that – it made it easy and fun to browse the nonfiction.  However, I was the only person who could put all the books away!  Since we hadn’t changed any spine labels, it was more art than science.

But after going to IASL and hearing about the success at Waukee Middle School and North Liberty Public Library with BISC, I’m going whole-hog.  I’d always been hesitant to do it, because – hello! – I can find any book I want in a public library but always need help at Barnes and Noble.  But the way WMS and NLPL did it, it made so much sense!  I’m starting with fiction, though – I think NF might have to wait until fall.  I’m starting at the high school too, where I think it can have the most affect.  See, here are my fiction shelves:


Which look fine, right?  I’ve done a lot of weeding over the past two years (remember, it used to look like this) and the collection has definitely improved.  But as I reflected on it, I realized that I would never look for a fiction book in my library.  When I go to the public library, I never browse fiction.  Maybe new fiction, but I never, ever, browse the fiction stacks.  I’ll look for favorite authors (but I don’t need to check out Carl Hiaasen’s new book, Bad Monkey, as I have it from Amazon and am loving it!), but that’s about it.  Yet I expected my students to browse fiction?

I mean, look at this shelf:


So that’s Harry Potter (fantasy), then Storm Catchers (horror/thriller), Someday Dancer (historical fiction), next to realistic fiction, next to a mystery, next to humor, next to romance, next to graphic novel . . . you get the idea.  Chaos, pure chaos!!

I mean, it’s not like the high school students are racing to the circulation desk to read these.  But if anything is going to help, I think putting books by genre is it.

So, that means, new spine labels!  So for The Catcher in the Rye, it will say, Fiction/Classics/Salinger.  That’ll be a lot of work, but I believe in efficiency – for now, it’s weeding and sorting, then when I know the categories are solid, we’ll do all the spine labels at once.  Then, the fiction books will be placed back on the shelf, first alphabetically by category then alphabetically by author.  For example, Adventure then Classics then Fantasy then Romance then Science Fiction then Sports.  Within Classics, it would be Alcott then Austen then Bronte then Dickens then Fitzgerald, etc.  I expect we’ll have about 15 different categories.  It will be interesting to see where the gaps in the collection are once I get the books organized this way.

Watch for updates, and posts about our other summer projects.  What’s on your to-do list?


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