13 August 2012

@ The Library: Shifting Collections

One of the things I first noted when I interviewed for my current job is that the library is a small space. We have about 1000 sq. feet of usable space in the library on the main floor, another 1100 sq. feet down in the Youth Department. Obviously, when you have stacks, computers, sitting area, circulation desk...thing get tight pretty quickly.

The library itself is quite old and sits in a historic district. Of course, age has its charm AND its issues, but I am sure most librarian will agree that you want to make the best of what you have. For me, that meant making the collection more browseable for patrons, have books go together cohesively, and create some more display space.

While I have been using the rolling cart as temporary display area, of course I wanted something more permanent. We have been doing a massive weeding project on the main floor, starting with non-fiction.

I have been ruthless, I admit it. However the statistics on the books showed that more took up shelf space than circulated, so out they go. There are definite holes in the collection that will need to be filled, and sections like computers and travel need to be updated. Quickbooks 99, anyone?

With this weeding we ended up opening up a couple bays in non-fiction, which got me thinking. Originally, our biography section was clear on the other side of the library, and faced the young adult collection, which filled up shelving facing the main sitting area. I decided to move biography back to the end of non-fiction, and shift young adult around to give that collection its own space.

The previous shelving for part of YA. Now the back section is all YA,
and biographies have been moved to non-fiction.  

We moved the tilting bookcase behind the circulation desk, to replace a small-yet-awkwardly-placed table that we kept whacking our hips on. Then it was time to shift the New Titles.

Our patrons love browsing the New Titles, so we can combine it with displays throughout the year, satisfying everyone.

There are more collection changes to come in the library as we finish weeding and shifting some other areas. I hope that our patrons will find it easier to browse!