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.