A few weeks ago I was honored to be invited to the School Library Journals Leadership Summit. It was an amazing weekend of learning and talking to some of the leaders in the school library field. While there I starting talking with some of the librarians about moving my fiction area away for being organized by last name and making it organized by genre. I had been thinking about doing this for awhile and after listening to these amazing group of librarians talk about how it made their library more user friendly and how circulation went up, I decided to make the move.
After a talk with my supervisor and my principal, I started making my plan. I quickly realized that the only way to do this correctly was to close down the library and devote all my efforts to this. After looking at my schedule I realized that I had a week which I could make this happen. I also needed as many parent volunteers as I could get. Thanks to the HSA I was able to put out a email blast to parents.
Next, I researched what other librarians had done and made a live-binder filled with resources . You can click here to view it. From that research I decided on my genre categories.
I also needed good signs to mark each area and was looking for something fun to do. When doing research on moving to genre based fictions areas, I found a great article from my friend and mentor Tiffany Whitehead. In the article she not only talked about the move she made ,but also shared the poster she had created. I loved them and asked her I could use them. Being the kind person she is she sent me the jpgs and also told me how to make my own ones using the app WordFoto. Best $.99 I ever spent!
Using a local printer, I was able to get the posters printed and made with easel backs because I am going to have to put the signs on top of the built in bookcases I have. Those were surprisingly inexpensive only costing $7.50 each. They look amazing!!
Next, it was time for the big weed! In the span of two and half days with the help of my students teacher Barbara and my library aide Michelle we weeded over 500 books from our fiction collection! Some that had not been taking out since before I was born!
Then it was time to make the resource lists! Thank God for Destiny! With a quick search I was able to get a list of books by the same genre. I then was able to put them into resources lists which I was able to print out and use to pull books.
See Day 1 for more information on how the first day of the project went.
Elissa Malespina is the Middle School Teacher Librarian in Somerville and a Presenter, Author and much more. Find my full resume above.