The Books Moved

My last post threw out some thoughts on student reading, and their struggling with endurance. 

I have a few more things up my sleeve for the future (cough…a seminar reading program) but I first decided to move things around in the library to facilitate easier browsing and more comfortable surroundings to encourage long-form reading.

Shelving fiction in genres is nothing new- many libraries have made the shift, but many are still considering it. I did see circulation statistics rise when I moved things at my old school and I do believe that that type of shelving fosters browsing. Many things can impact circulation statistics, of course, but the rise I saw, paired with anecdotal feedback from many many students about it being “easier to find books” has convinced me that moving to fiction genres for shelving is the way to go here at Northwest.

I got lucky.

The librarian that preceded me here had already placed genre stickers on the spines of every single fiction book:

  • Fantasy
  • Realistic
  • Sports
  • Mystery/horror
  • Humorous
  • Historical
  • Adventure
  • Romance

You can see the multicolored stickers here:


So it was a matter of moving all 12,000 books. I switched the fiction section so that it was closer to the door and main area of the library, which meant all of them had to move. Here’s the result:


It took 10 book trucks and three weeks. I only accidentally dumped a truck once:


Once the books were moved, it was a matter of putting up signage to help students find what they are in the mood for:

Final result with signage:


Now I’m working on getting each book’s section input into the sublocation field in Destiny, our library automation software.

The payoff?

Just yesterday, when students were in the library for enrollment, Ms. Koeningsdorf came over to tell me that her students were remarking that “it is going to be so much easier to find books now!”

Totally worth it.


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