Sunday, November 30, 2008

The end that leads to the beginning.

Today is November 30 and this project is due in about 6 1/2 hours. I'm tying up all my loose ends. I've got all my photos categorized on Flickr and my paper is about 30 minutes from being finished. To read through my experience from the beginning, please begin at the first post titled "First meeting" and read chronologically from there by selecting "Newer Post" at the bottom of the page.

Thanks! Any comments are welcome.

Marissa Antosh

Friday, November 28, 2008

R through Z

I pulled the books that were in need of weeding and deleted them from the system. I was able to find two thirds of the list, which is pretty decent. Books get misplaced all the time in Children's, so I consider being able to find more than half a success!

At present, I'm writing my paper, but I wanted to squeeze in a few more journal entries as my time winds down. I've relabeled through the letter P in the early and first readers. Since it's a holiday weekend, we have some returning college students helping out at the library who were unaware of my project. Once they figure out where everything is, it makes sense, but there is an initial period of "where did those books go?" There is a consensus that having the three letters of the author's last name on the spine label is helpful, however. We'll all get used to the new layout.

I'm almost finished! I'll continue this after my time is up for the project, which will just be the letters R through Z. I feel like I've definitely done a good thing by doing this project. I hope patrons will feel the same way.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


When it rains it pours. I've been periodically trolling our book carts for returned early and first readers and WHOA there were a ton of them on the carts yesterday. I got them relabeled and reshelved, but it feels like I'll be finding ones forever that haven't been changed.

Eileen generated a report of books that need to be weeded, so that will be useful. I'll just go through, pull them, and swoosh-- delete them.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

One side of the shelf is full!

I've gotten through N and filled up one side of the shelf. I've also updated the shelf labels. Hopefully I can finish next week?? I have the majority done already, and that was the goal. I've been able to do some more weeding as I've gone through, so that is great. Next up is my paper!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Much accomplished.

Today I spent the whole day working on my project. I got a lot accomplished and I'm now through the beginning of the Ms. Going through these books is nostalgic for me and a lot of fun. But on a sad note, a lot of Frog and Toad and Little Bear books are out of print. I suggested that Eileen get a few more of them and they are all fancy now with an accompanying CD. What happened to good old-fashioned books?

Friday, November 14, 2008


Today I made signs to let patrons know where half the early readers had gone, even though they just moved around the corner. Even one of our staff members was confused as to where books had gone to. It takes getting used to when collections change. So far, this change has gone quite smoothly, but the early readers circulate more than the books to share. I keep scanning the carts for early readers that were just checked in so they don't get mixed in with the ones I've already changed.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

First readers as opposed to early readers: what does it mean?

I figured it would be useful to explain why I'm putting first readers back with early readers and what all these distinctions mean.

The head of Children's prior to Eileen took the very early readers-- e.g. The Fat Cat Sat on a Mat-- and labeled them "first readers" so parents who had beginner readers could find the books more easily instead of ruffling through the entire early readers section. However, there was never clear criteria for why a book went in one collection as opposed to another. There were some early reader series that had books in both spots. For example, there is a series of early readers called "Rookie Readers" and there would be some in the first readers collection and some in the early readers collection. It was all very confusing. When Eileen took over as head of Children's, she didn't like the inconsistency and decided to merge the two collections. Indeed, both collections are for beginning readers, so why have them in two locations? That is why I'm putting them all together again. The collection will be much more cohesive once this project is finished.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Part 2 begins

I began the relabeling and shifting of early readers today. I got through the Cs. The first readers collection has bright orange dots on the book spines to differentiate them, so I am pulling those off as well as making new spine labels. They are quite sticky, so I'm using Goo Gone with abandon. However, some of the orange dots are laminated onto the spines, so for those I have to cover them up. It looks like a patch job and I don't like it, but pulling off the lamination would damage the cover. I also foresee a problem with our collection of Dick and Jane books. They are reissues of the original Dick and Jane and there is no specific author listed for them. I think the spine labels will have to still read "Dick and Jane." It's an anomaly in the ordered world of first three letters of the author's last name, but it can't be helped. Already the collection looks better and more cohesive, so that's a good thing!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Preemptive weeding

Tonight, while I was watching the Children's desk, I looked through the early readers to see if there were any we could toss before I began relabeling them. Unfortunately, there were many that were in bad shape. The circulation statistics weren't great on most of them, either. I guess people don't want to check out books that are in disrepair, and I don't blame them. I gave the ones I pulled to Eileen so she could make a final decision on them. She wanted to get new copies if possible. Unfortunately, many of the titles are out of print. There were a number of classics there, too. They're in bad shape, though, and can't stay in the collection. It makes me sad that a lot of marginal books endure while classics go out of print. She is going to order new copies of ones she can. For example, our copy of The Best Nest by P.D. Eastman is a little tired, so she's going to get a second copy. I know she intends on getting more Cynthia Rylant early readers, too, because those get a lot of use.

The plan for this second part is as follows:

1. Change call numbers on early and first readers to the first three letters of the authors' last name.
2. Relabel books.
3. Move books around the corner to where books to share were previously.
4. Move shelves to a more eye-level height and discontinue shelving books on the bottom of the shelf unit, allowing for better access.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Eileen's evaluation of my work so far

Eileen had the following to say for my one month evaluation:

Date of evaluation: October 31, 2008

Evaluation of your Mentoring Plan:


You have taken on a tremendous task with this project. I believe the goals and objectives will be met and ultimately the Library users will benefit from all your hard work. Being organized in your approach was necessary due to the many phases of this project. You were able to have a broad over view of the numerous collections that would be effected and planned accordingly so as not to create any obstacles for patron use of materials. The initial steps included shifting audio books and music and the entire Reference collection in order to provide space for “Books to Share”. This strategy proved to be effective because at no time during this project have books been located on carts, but rather moved seamlessly from shelf to shelf so patrons could easily locate materials throughout the relocation. The “Books to Share” have already been re-labeled and almost all of them have been moved to the new location. Considering the size of “Books to Share” you have been able to complete the re-labeling and relocating quite quickly and effectively. I look forward to the next phases of this project which will impact the Early Reader collection by making it more cohesive. Keep up the good work!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Finished with part 1!

I finished moving and relabeling the books to share. They look great in their new spot and they're all properly alphabetized. Right now it's probably the only collection in the entire library that is in perfect alphabetical order, and as I write this, someone has messed it up. We'll see if the circulation picks up. I've also put a check-in note on all the books to share that are currently checked out so I can change them over when they come back to the library. Some I can't find, so I put traces on those. We use Horizon as our ILS, so check-in notes and traces are built into that. I had just enough room for the collection. I'm sure we'll weed as necessary, as well. My next step is to tackle the early readers and first readers, merge them into one collection, and move them to their new home.

Friday, October 24, 2008


Eileen has been looking through the books to share and has been pulling out ones that should be in other collections. It's mostly books that are being put into picture books. Apparently, before my time, books to share was the dumping ground for a lot of books. It was the catch-all collection. Now Eileen is making sense of it and I'm so pleased with how it looks. I'm afraid I might run out of space, though. Fingers crossed.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Slowly but surely

I'm in the Gs already. Eileen, the head of Children's, likes the new placement, so I'm happy. And I find relabeling so satisfying. Today I found a book that had been put on trace (meaning it's checked in but we can't find it). It was on hold for a patron, so I was able to connect a patron with what they were looking for, which is the whole point of librarianship in the first place.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The labelmaker and I are best friends.

I've gotten a good chunk of this project done this week. Thursday I got all the reference books moved. They need relabeling, but that is for another time. I'd relabel the entire library if I had the time! I found a few books that should be nonfiction and a few adult reference books, which I was happy to restore to their proper place. There were a lot more reference books than I thought! They don't get a lot of use, though, since kids (and adults) immediately turn to the Internet for information. Hopefully, now that the area is more organized, that will change.

Yesterday I began to relabel and move the books to share. I got through all the As and a good portion of the Bs in the two hours I had. I changed the call numbers to the first three letters of the author's last name. The spines are so skinny that anything more than that gets lost. I started to move them, also, and they look good in their new spot. I'll be able to spread them out more, also.

New things to do: relabel the last two reference shelves and draft an explanation of what books to share are and why we moved them. And continue the moving and labeling.

Friday, September 26, 2008


Today I took the circulating encyclopedias and crossed out the "Reference only" stamps. Hopefully they will get more use in the circulating collection. They were shelved with the reference books and the only thing indicating that they could be checked out was the label reading "NF" instead of "REF." That doesn't make sense to a child. I had to shift a ton of nonfiction to make space for the encyclopedias, but I finally made an adequate space and a shelf label indicating that they may be checked out. I also made a sign for the reference section to let patrons know where the older set of encyclopedias disappeared to.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Moving time

I moved the books on CD today so they are on opposite sides of their shelf. All the books on tape that were checked in have been withdrawn and the withdrawing will continue as they are returned. I also moved the audio CDs so all the media is together.

After input from the Children's staff, we decided to keep the name "books to share" but provide an explanation of what that means on the shelf. Changing the name AND the location might cause too much confusion. I'll be changing the spine labels to have the first three letters of the authors' last name so they look like our picture book collection.

Before I can move the books to share, I have to deal with the reference collection. There are some encyclopedias that need to be withdrawn because they are outdated, and I need to move the older set of World Book encyclopedias to the circulating nonfiction collection. Then I can move the rest of reference.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Ready to roll

My proposal was approved!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Asking input from the Children's staff

I just sent out an email to the Children's staff regarding the books to share. Eileen spoke to Carolyn Benjamin, Head of Tech Services, and "picture books for older readers" is too long for our catalog. I bounced a few ideas off Eileen, and these were some of the alternatives I came up with:

In Between Books
Crossover Books
Bridging Books
Passage Books
Jump into (something)

I like Bridging Books since they are a bridge between picture books and fiction books, but it does sound like a bunch of books about bridges. Hmm. Hopefully the staff will have some useful thoughts.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Project proposal

Here's the text of the proposal I sent to Professor De Abreu:

"The Wilton Library has recently hired a new children's librarian and I intend to work with her for my final project. The main goal of this project is to consolidate some of the smaller collections in the children's library to 1) make the collection more cohesive and 2) make signage reflect what is actually on the shelves. This will require the following:

1) Shifting a significant portion of materials, including all books on tape, audio CDs, and children's reference materials.
2) Developing a new collection code for the concept picture books. These books are currently called "books to share."
3) Moving the "books to share" to a more appropriate location. They are currently shelved near the picture books, but since they deal with some heavier topics, they need to be moved to serve a different age group.
4) Relabeling the "books to share" with the new collection name and creating signage.
5) Consolidate the numerous collections of early readers into one collection, relabel them, and integrate the collections.

Please let me know if this sounds satisfactory!

Thank you,

Marissa Antosh"

I hope it made sense. It's hard to describe what I intend to do without being able to show the collections and how the library is laid out.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

First meeting

For my final project, I decided to work with Eileen Caulfield, Head of Children's Services at the Wilton Library in Wilton, CT. Eileen has recently taken over this position, so she has a lot of plans for the collection. After discussing a number of options, we decided the following:

1) I will integrate the first reader collections and the early reader collections. First readers include phonics books and the like while early readers include Young Cam Jansen and Amelia Bedelia. Integrating them will put all the early readers in one place and the current signage will make sense.
2) I will move and recatalog the books to share. Books to share are basically picture books for older readers, so Eileen wants to move them nearer to the fiction books so they will serve as a transition between young kids and older kids. By moving these, there will be space for the expanded collection of early readers. We're also going to change the name of the books to share so it makes more sense. "Books to share" is a little vague.
3) Lesley Keogh, one of the Children's Assistants, is in the process of weeding our books on tape. Once they are gone, I can move the books on CD and music CDs so they are on one shelf unit and move the reference books from their current home. That will free up the new home of the books to share.
4) Of course, while I am shifting and recataloging, I'll be keeping an eye out for anything that needs to be weeded because it is dirty, smelly, or falling apart.

I'll take pictures throughout the process. I don't know if I'll post them in this blog or start a separate account on Flickr or Picasa. In the meantime, I'm glad I've gotten started!