|This is what it used to|
look like, jumbled and
hard to browse.
Let's start back in June in Anaheim. I was at the 2012 ALA Annual Conference, and I was sitting in a program called "I WANT A TRUCK BOOK! Reorganizing Your Picture Book Collection to Meet the Needs of Young Patrons and their Caregivers." Gretchen Caserotti, she of Darien Library and LJ 2010 Mover and Shaker fame, was the first speaker, and she talked about her library's wildly successful reorganization of its "kidlit" collection--picture books for the under-5 crowd. It's safe to say that I was greatly intrigued by what Gretchen said. Organizing picture books in a manner that empowers both kids (i.e., pre-readers) and caregivers to really use the collection? YES! Where do I sign up?
|Here's a look at some of our shelves in|
Picture Book City following the reorganization.
|In progress--so many piles!|
One of my favorite parts of Friday--our first day with the new system, when people could have been really confused or upset by the change--was hearing so many caregivers express how simple and navigable our picture books now are. When I was in the children's section explaining the system to a mom and her son, I asked the young boy what types of stories he likes; he said "trucks," and literally within moments he was able to find all of the truck books. He and his mom were thrilled. These are the reactions I'm getting pretty much across the board. I cannot wait until our story times start again next week to see how our program-goers like it. I'm also looking forward to watching our picture book circulation statistics over the coming months. I'll report back.
|Now that the ever-popular|
transportation books are in
one place, I can tell I need
to buy more. Lots more.
I could not have reorganized the picture books at my branch without the support and physical labor of so many branch staff and volunteers. I am likewise indebted to Gretchen and the awesome team of children's librarians at the Darien Library; they planted the idea in my head, let me bounce my ideas for modifying their system off of them, and provided me with much-needed encouragement in the more stressful stages of the process.
Because, yes, it was stressful. And yes, it took a while. I shudder to think how chaotic it would have been to finish the reorganization had the branch not been closed. But all things considered, it's worth it. Kids finding books more easily?
Oh, it is so worth it.