Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Keeping a Fresh Collection

One of the things I absolutely pride myself in is collection development.  I have told my readers time and again how much time and effort I spend researching and organizing my ordering, my wish lists and my collection to make it fresh and new.  I decided it was time to share my tricks of the trade.   Be aware, I only have a small budget.  I get about $1700 a year for new materials plus a small amount of high ability money to use for additional items.   I also host two book fairs a year and get a lot of titles from Scholastic.   I have some other potential leads as well, but I haven't yet developed them.

Because of the limited budget, it is often hard to get a lot of new books.  But it never fails, the kids come in and look around and often focus on one spot, my new release area.  I have two spindles with new releases.  We keep them out for three weeks and do a cycle with the way we do them.

Each week, my assistant or I select twelve to fourteen books that are from different genre from our back storage shelf.  (We buy en masse at the beginning of the budget cycle and continuously add titles to the storage shelf. The storage shelf is sorted by genre and author. Titles that are hot commodities and in demand never make it back there. (Allegiant for example got delivered and put out the day it arrived, the same with House of Hades and Hard Luck.)  We know the kids enough to know what they are going to want now.  The books all appear as ON ORDER in our Destiny system and when we place them on the spindles, we merely check them in.  If a student asks for a specific title, we pull it for them from the back and require them to hand it back to us personally when they are done so it makes the new release shelf.

We seldom put out non-fiction unless we come across a title that people would read for pleasure.  (We talk to kids and get ideas from them about whether or not it would be read just to read or if they need it for a paper.)  We rotate spindles every Tuesday and make a short Animoto video with the newest titles. Those are added to the library learning commons blog and shared on Twitter (which posts it on the library Facebook page too).

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