Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Getting a Handle on My New Collection

Coming into a new position I knew that I wanted to really focus on the collection this summer and learn what we have and what we need to focus our funds on.
There was a HUGE nonfiction section here (71%). I ran a Titlewise analysis on Follett and found that 54% of the collection is considered Aged. Only 19% are from 2012 or newer. The average age of the entire collection is 16 years, with fiction being 12 years.
Not only was nonfiction old, but it wasn't used.
I am a vicious weeder and this collection needed it. I weeded A LOT. I won't publish the total here because I know how sensitive some people are to discarding books, but I will point out that NO ONE has asked for anything that I removed. The only remarks I have received have been positive.

  • The library looks so clean.
  • The library looks so open.
  • I love the changes you've made.
I posted more pictures on our Twitter feed if you want to see the library in progress. It was quite the project. I even lured my work out group in one morning to make trips to the dumpster. We definitely burned calories that morning! Just looking at these pictures makes my back hurt.

If you know me, you know I love genrefication. I organized that way in my last library and I intend to do the same here. Right now, fiction is still by author's last name because I'm waiting on my tinted stickers to come in. Once they arrive we will start that process and follow all of our series in Fictfact.
The other two high schools in my district are also organized by genre in the fiction section and I wanted to maintain some consistency with them.
These are the genres they use:
Historical Fiction, Romance, Paranormal, Fantasy, Scifi/Dystopian, Mystery/Horror, Sports, Adventure/Survival, Urban, Realistic, Classic and Picture Book.

There are a few changes to this list I plan to make. I am not going to have an Urban section. The more I thought about it I feel like this segregates the collection. I even posted on the Future Ready Librarian Facebook page to get some other opinions and most of the comments verified my concerns. I also will not have a Paranormal genre. I feel like this isn't as popular as it was a few years ago and I'd rather integrate those books into another genre. I'm still deciding about having Mystery and Horror together. I had them separate in my last library. I might have to wait until the books are separated to see if I have enough to justify two sections.

I can already tell that I need more Sports books and Romance. This is just from student requests when they are roaming the stacks. I have been observing their browsing habits and just like my middle schoolers, the high schoolers will benefit from genre organization. The readers have their favorites and are fine, the nonreaders just roam aimlessly through the stacks. They will benefit the most from having the books by genre. I can't wait to get started. Hurry up PO!

Finally, I have inherited a grossly bloated DVD collection. So far this year, no one has checked out any of them so I have a feeling that I'll be cutting that collection way down very soon. Also they were cataloged as Fiction so it is messing with my collection analysis. That has to change and soon.

I am the type of person that just dives in and gets things done so the fact that it will take me all of this year to get the collection how I really want it is driving me nuts. I feel like I'm off to a good start though.


  1. You NEED Thatcher Heldring's The Football Girl! It is so good, and is sports AND romance. Wait. Where do you put it? (Sorry. I'm sticking with author order for now!) For a more high school titles, look into Currinder's Running Full Tilt, Krinsky's The Longest Fall, and Herbach's Stupid Fast. Readers love sports titles, but it's hard to find them. Ooh. The Wallace's biography of Babe Zaharias as well.

    1. Adding the ones I'm missing to my order right now. Thank you!

  2. What a job! Good for you. More books get checked out if the collection is up-to-date, relevant, and "pretty." I love to weed. (I don't publish my numbers either!) But I still haven't genrefied my collection. I'm retiring at the end of the year, and I will support whatever the new person decides to do.