Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Another "A-Ha" Moment In The Reorganization of the Library

Last night I received an email from my friend Maggie Henke.  We have been emailing and Skyping about the reorganization of our library....Maggie is now moving her library around too.  

Maggie wrote, 

"When putting sports books together, do you put biographies of prominent sports figures with the sports section...or separated in the biography section." 

What a GREAT question!  I know we put a new shelf marker with "Biographies" on the shelf, but all of the biographies have still stayed together.  

I started thinking, "Does that make the most sense for our students to be able to find them?  Now with the specific categories like 'Titanic', 'Basketball', and 'Space' wouldn't it make more sense to also move the biographies into these categories as well?"  

When I came in today, I looked at our Biography section.  We have so many wonderful books in this section but they are easily missed.  I pulled a few of the books that would be a natural fit into the new nonfiction categories.  
 I pulled a few books about sports figures....
 We could easily make this a new section entitled "Sports Figures" within our Sports area.
I pulled Escaping Titanic...A Young Girl's True Story of Survival.  This would fit perfect into the very popular Titanic section.
And the books about Neil Armstrong and other astronauts would make an interesting new category next to Space.

And perhaps when we start moving books out of the Biography section we realize we don't even need it at all.  Maybe all of the biographies will find a home in a new neighborhood within our library.

I do know this....These books will now not be passed by just sitting in the Biography section.  They will be seen throughout the nonfiction sections as exciting new additions to our collection.

The students will love checking these books out to read and learn all kinds of new information.

Thank you Maggie for giving me a big "A-Ha" moment. :)


  1. I love it! We began pulling books from the biography section today as well! I feel like students will be more likely to find them in their respective categories.

    1. Hi Maggie,

      Thank you for giving me that "A-Ha" moment. :) Yes, they will definitely be able to find the books with this reorganization. I am excited.

      Have a wonderful day, Shannon

  2. Imagine what can happen when we as the adults decide that the "way it has always been done" doesn't make a whole lot of sense. If we approach things from "what are we trying to accomplish" instead of "what did we do last year" then we can ALWAYS be making progress.

    Matt D

  3. I love this whole non-Dewey idea and am pushing for it here at our school. The biography section has also been an area that I thought ought be included in the corresponding area of interest and you did it! One question-Do you still have them also labeled as bios in case a student comes in and needs to read a biography as happens in our Junior High when they do a biography unit? I also had a teacher ask me this week about non-fiction narrative and realized that we have no way to pull those up on our catalog as a category. Any thoughts?
    Edna Vandervort- Crestwood

    1. Hi Edna,

      Thank you for the comment and thoughts. :) Yes, they will still be labeled as Biographies as well. There are several of our books now that have multiple tags so the students can find them multiple ways.

      With the non-fiction narrative, could you also make that a tag within the MARC record? Then when they search this, they can find the ones that match up. Or even pull those into a section by themselves perhaps....Or a little label that is just for that, you can add to the spine.

      I hope this helps....Please let us all know what you decide to do. :) I find that really interesting.

      Have a wonderful week, Shannon

  4. Hi, Shannon! I just moved my NF away from Dewey - in the middle of the year, it's a process but I'm super pleased with it. So I'm deciding what to do with biographies and I love this. I know you're putting biographies within the rest of your NF collection, but how many categories did you do? (Sports, space, inventors, athletes, etc.) And if you had a biography on Laura Ingalls Wilder, would you put that with your formerly 800s, or with her fiction books?