Thursday, August 15, 2013

Picture Book Place

YSS member Kathy Larson, youth services librarian at the G.E. Bleskacek Family Memorial Library in Bloomer, is presenting a session a the WLA Conference this fall about her massive picture book reorganization project.  The session, "Picturing a New Way to Find Picture Books" will be held Friday at 10:45 am.  For more in-depth information about the Picture Book Place project, check out Kathy's excellent blog From the Short Stacks (which has great posts about a bunch of other stuff, too)

 To tickle your interest, we asked Kathy a few questions about her project and her presentation.

What made you decide to try this new arrangement for your picture books?

I’ve always organized my personal picture books by categories rather than author, it made topical books a lot easier to find (dinosaurs, apples, zoo). I restructured two different childcare centers libraries into that format at well. All of the teachers at the centers loved it because it made planning time so much faster. Once I saw that a few public libraries had done it in their libraries, I immediately started making plans to reorganize our library. I did not have the major categories in my personal library like some other libraries I have found, but it seemed to make sense to lump smaller categories together for the public.

What were some of your favorite resources for your project?

My main models were Picture BookCity, the METIS system developed by some librarians in NYC, and the Darien Public Library.   All of them are pinned to my Pinterest board (along with links to my own project).

 I took the main ideas from those three resources and looked at how they would work at our library, then moved them around a little, tweaked them a little and came up with my own system which I talk about extensively on my blog

What are some of the cool things you plan to discuss at your WLA session?

I plan on talking about the process, the categories, how we went about processing and organizing the books, and how it is going so far. I love numbers and statistics so be on the lookout for some graphs!

Anything else you want to tell us?

It has been well received. For the most part books are easier to find when looking for a certain topic of books like frogs, bedtime stories, the Three Little Pigs books, trucks, dinosaurs, etc., I ran into problems when I wanted to do a fish storytime and had to look in Favorites, Concepts, and Pond (talk about annoying having to go to 3 different shelves for books!).

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