Sunday, May 3, 2015

Welcome to the Neighborhoods

I've updated my Neighborhoods post. While there are still a few books in the biography and juvenile nonfiction section that need to be changed, the project is largely finished. Now that it's been in place for several months, I have a good idea of the circulation and we are shifting the books a little to fill in the empty spaces. In any case, this is as finished as it's going to be...

The Neighborhoods went through a lot of evolution. I drew heavily on the ideas of Kathleen Larson at Bloomer (and a big thank you to her for being so kind and sending me all her information), the process at Darien in CT and several other libraries who have done similar projects.

The main difference in my organization is that I did not relabel ALL the books. After much discussion, angst and argument, I decided on 7 main categories with a small number of sub categories. Titles that did not fit into any of these categories and very recognizable series/authors (Eric Carle, Mo Willems, Splat the Cat, etc.) would stay in a general picture book section.

I replaced the temporary signage with new signs that had more information about what they could find in each category, my aide did a stellar job of attaching shelf labels and shifting all the books, and as a finishing touch I laminated recognizable characters, both those that stayed in the general picture book category and those that moved en masse to a neighborhood (SkippyJon Jones went straight into Pets for example) and attached them to the shelves.

As I worked on this project through 2014, I saw picture book circulation increase by 4,885. That's right FOUR THOUSAND. My picture book circulation for 2014 reached 27,214. I have had only positive or neutral feedback from patrons so far and I can easily see which sections need additional books (more dinosaurs and tractor books immediately!)

I have a detailed, color-coded spreadsheet that tracks all of the neighborhoods and especially the shortened Dewey numbers but here are sample call numbers and a list of the actual categories.





  • No Subcategory: Baby animals, collections of animals
  • Amphibians
  • Birds
  • Bugs
  • Dinosaurs
  • Mammals
  • Oceans
  • Reptiles
  • Farm (including tractors and horses)
  • Helpers (including libraries)
  • Long Ago (including biographies)
  • Pets
  • School
  • Create (including crafts, art, science experiments, inventions and cooking)
  • Dance
  • Music (including books that are a song)
  • Places (including the zoo, circus, traveling, vacation, and fair)
  • Sports
(Things that) Go
  • Air
  • Construction
  • Land
  • Space (including astronomy and planets)
  • Trains
  • Water
  • No Subcategory (including habitats, general nature and observation)
  • Plants (including gardens, food, and seeds)
  • Seasons (including night and day)
  • Weather
  • Family
  • Feelings (including faith/religion and sharing)
  • Growing up (including potty training, health and manners)
  • Nursery (including Mother Goose rhymes)
  • Princess
  • USA (including Native American folktales)
  • World
A selection of Authors and Series NOT moved to Neighborhoods
  • Jan Brett
  • Marc Brown (Arthur)
  • Margaret Brown
  • Eric Carle (Brown Bear series moved under E CAR because every single person I asked thought he was the author)
  • Lucy Cousins (Maisy)
  • Anna Dewdney (Llama Llama)
  • Lois Ehlert
  • Ian Falconer (Olivia)
  • Denise Fleming
  • Victoria Kann (Pinkalicious)
  • Leo Lionni
  • Jonathan London (Froggy)
  • MAG (Magic School Bus)
  • Laura Numeroff (If you....series)
  • Jane O'Connor (Fancy Nancy)
  • Richard Scarry
  • Dr. Seuss
  • Mo Willems
a panoramic view of the Ourselves category

Geraldine and the Nut Brown Hare tell us their books are on this shelf!
More of these are in the non-neighborhood picture books.

front of my sign-box

the back of the sign-box gives more details

the sides show some pictures. I selected a whole bunch by browsing
through the section and then tried to have books that did a good
job of representing the sub-categories as well as making sure
 there was some diversity. Except Happy Owls, which is just there
because it is my favorite.

The other sign boxes were not this fancy. I ran out of steam (and also boxes of the correct width) so the others only have the subcategories on the front and descriptions on the back.


Kathleen Larson said...

That looks great! I can't wait to visit again and see it now that you are finished.

Kristin said...

So not every book was added to one of the new "neighborhoods"?

Jennifer said...

Yes, many libraries put these (Eric Carle, Fancy Nancy, etc.) in "favorites" or "classics" but I just left them by author. We were tired of relabeling and I felt those sections were really subjective anyways. It's nice b/c not everything has to "fit" in a certain neighborhood.