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Thursday, August 30, 2007

While Weeding

I've been sharing the weeding of our picturebook collection with a colleague, and I'm currently done with my portion (M-Z). So I've been moved down to our DC (Duplicate Copy) collection in storage in the basement. This collection is not entirely ridiculous in it's inception, but in practice is completely illogical. If we had multiple copies of a book one or more of those copies was removed from the overcrowded picturebook room. This is understandable. But they were placed in storage where patrons cannot see them. Even if all the other copies of a particular title are checked out patrons probably wouldn't know that another copy is available if they only ask. Most of these have not circulated in years while their counterparts in the stacks are sometimes never in. I can understand keeping the DC collection, but only if it is accessible to the public. Instead we are just integrating it into the current collection which I'm not entirely happy about either. With a still overcrowded picturebook room many books are left continuously in the shelving area. This leaves an aggravated librarian running back and forth across the room to find a book the catalog says is "on the shelf". In general, I think we need different shelving methods or different labels on our computer records. We have similar issues with summer reading books which are pulled aside for those browsing from summer reading lists. I was told I would "just remember" which books were in the summer reading shelf. Unfortunately a ten-year-old that actually looks up a book on the catalog, finds the call number, and makes it to the proper place on the shelf will not "just remember" that this is a summer reading book. I think all collections should be patron friendly-- from the catalog to the shelving. We shouldn't have self-sufficient patrons frustrated because our system doesn't make sense. To my deep disappointment I was told that most of our patrons don't want to bother with the catalog anyway so as long as staff can find things it doesn't matter. Even typing this frustrates me. I don't want to give up on my patrons-- I want to teach them how to be independent and proud of their library and their ability to use it. It should be accessible and it should feel like it is theirs. I resent being a gatekeeper-- I want to be a facilitator. Everything from the DC collection to the catalog should be available for them to use whenever they choose, and it should all be plain and clear what is available and where it is. Now if only I can get my supervisor to agree...

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Children's Book Award Links

One of our fantastic library aides is taking a children's literature course and was asking for assistance identifying different awards for children's books. My favorite two resources I found were... "Book Awards" from Cynthia Leitich Smith's website This is a fantastic website anyway with some great booklists and resources, but I'm particularly impressed with the obscure awards she posts in addition to the standard ALA Awards. "Awards and Prizes" from Just when you thought you knew all the awards there could be... you find a website like this. Lots of great links on this one. The website in general has some original book reviews, but all their booklists and resources are links to other sites-- in any case, it's still fun to browse. My SLIS program had access to their Children's Literature Comprehensive Database, which, by the way, is great. I wish my library had money to subscribe to it!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Top 50 List of Children's Books

What Book Got You Hooked? asked people to vote for the book that got them hooked on reading. None of the books are a huge surprise but it's nice to see them all together.

I'd have to say my top two that got me "hooked" would be...

Leo the Late Bloomer
by Robert Kraus
illustrated by Jose Aruego


by Julie Andrews Edwards

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Just a Place

This just a place for me to store my work-related musings and links relevant to public librarianship for the young ones.