A Summer of Organization

I absolutely love to organize, make lists, and weed things. You would never know from my house, which exists in a state of “Holy nuts! There’s a floor under all those random stacks of junk?!” Flat surfaces inherently attract random stacks of junk, so naturally the floor (being very large and very flat) would accumulate the majority of such stacks. (It’s really just a more generously proportioned shelf anyway, right?)

Summertime is project-time at my library, and I have plenty lined up.  As the default children’s librarian, most of my projects are in the children’s section, and given my experience working in bookstores and libraries, all I’m looking for is “good enough” when it comes to organization. I’ve found children’s sections notoriously hard to keep in any semblance of order. I can get a way with “good enough” in this case because the entire children’s section would fit inside my living room and kitchen.

organize all the things

My Summer To Do List:

  • Weed children’s VHS section, shift to empty carousel.
  • Move children’s DVDs to the now vacated shelves that once housed the VHS tapes.
  • Create spine labels for children’s DVDs using a lowercase “j” followed by the first letter of the title, capitalized.
  • Create spine labels for adult’s DVDs using first two letters of the title.
  • Organize/weed early reader section – separate by level, place labels color-coded by level on spines, and create signage to show level-color. The books will be shelved by level, with no consideration given to alphabetization.
  • Organize/weed picture books; separate paperbacks from hardbacks, place paperbacks in alphabetical order in bins such as these, create spine labels with first two letters of author’s last name.
  • Organize/weed children’s non-fiction books incorporating a Metis-inspired cataloging system to make it easier for families to find what they’re looking for.

During all of these projects, I will be adding subject headings into our database. Up until about two years ago, subjects weren’t entered when materials were cataloged.

My library has one librarian and one circulation clerk (that’s me). Everyone else is a volunteer. Volunteers do the majority of the shelving and are fairly set in their ways. I want shelving to be less frustrating for them, and to make it easier for materials to be consistently shelved in the right location.

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