Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Genre Shift goes Dewey

After a great deal of discussion, consideration and investigation, I did it.  I decided to do some shifting and make the non-fiction section a more user friendly department.  And now I am going to share with you how we decided to make the change.

For starters, we selected the health section first because we found a lot of crossover amongst Dewey numbers between different topics.  There were drugs in the 300s as well as the 600s so we had to make it easier to find the materials. (That came about when a boy came in to write a paper about legalization of marijuana and I had to go to three different areas to find the books he needed.)

The process is really lengthy, but we are already seeing the benefits.   These are the steps we took to get started.

1) We walked around and collected all of the books with a health related topic. (Drugs, Addiction, Disabilities, etc.) and put specific labels on each.

2)  Each book got a Capital Letter for the topic (Ex: C for Cancer, D for Drugs, M for Marijuana)  We found that some of our areas only had one or two books each so we did some combinations.  We also looked at the topics chosen for papers.  Those were usually the ones that had a more specific letter.   We use Destiny by Follett so we scanned the book and added the capital letter in front of the call number to help us know when we look it up where it is located. (A 612 Il)  We aren't getting rid of the Dewey numbers, they will just be used in the catalog.  We decided to do this because it will help us organize the section better.

3)  Categories.  We also took the sections and made a public resource list into our Destiny Follett system.  The process is a little time consuming but we decided it would benefit the kids if they could just click and search.  We are planning to do this for every category we have. Yes, we are a little crazy, but we do this for the kids!  I anticipate having a lot of categories, but, if it makes searching for books easier for kids, it is worth it.  

4) TRAINING  We are spending a lot of time training kids to find materials through the catalog.  We migrated to Destiny in January (2012) and most didn't use Winnebago because it was hard to use and really a mess.  I teach kids CONSTANTLY to use the catalog.  I invite them to my corner in singles or small groups and go over the catalog with them.  I teach them how to search for locations.  (We are identifying locations later but fiction is done and I am showing them often how to read the location tag).

5) Signage and Advertising  I am making signs that will identify the categories.  With our genre fiction shift we had the label we used and some covers that match.  I have posters in lots of places in the library.  I am working on the same for the nonfiction section.   As far as advertising, I am posting A LOT on Facebook which links to my library twitter and I am making some posters and bulletin boards for the students to see. 

I am excited about the move and the changes.  I know I will have some frowns and disagreements from teachers who are used to the old way, but, we are in this for the patrons and the kids and if we can help them find what they need fast and effectively, it is worth the change.


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