Thursday, February 27, 2014

Cataloging: Genre-fying our Fiction Collection (Part 1)

To Genre-fy or not to Genre-fy, that is the question we posed to our Library Advisory Board (a group of students and faculty who vote on any large decisions taking place in the library).

At the beginning of the school year I conducted research on the pros and cons of genre-fying our fiction collection. I read articles and blogs (Mrs. Readerpants, Living in a Library World, Fountain Reflections, to name a few) and I spoke to other librarians. We have a large collection of books, for the size of our school, and a healthy budget to purchase books, but our circulation statistics are no where near where we feel they should be. From what I have read and heard, it seemed like genre-fying our fiction section could help increase our circulation stats and also help us find gaps in our collection. Luckily the Library Advisory Board agreed and we began the long process of genre-fying our fiction books.

We have many parent volunteers and I was able to devote four volunteers to our project. We determined that the easiest way for us to complete this project was to print out a shelf list of all our fiction books in the Upper School (high school, we would deal with the middle school later). We are using online resources such as: Goodreads, Shelfari, Wordcat, Library of Congress, Amazon and Titlewave, to help us determine the genre of each book. We never pull a physical book off the shelf unless we can not determine the genre from any of the online resources.

Determining which MARC tags to use:
Our library uses Follett Destiny. Before we began entering information into the catalog, I contacted Follett to be sure we were using the correct MARC tag. I also followed up with a few google searches to be sure I was not missing something with the cataloging part of the project. I determined that we should use the 655 tag. It was repeatable and searchable through Destiny. For the indicators we used 7 and a. At the advice of Follett, on the second line we used our school code with the 2 indicator. (Follett said out school code would be useful when creating reports).

We chose the following 10 genres:
Fantasy, Dystopian, Science Fiction, Historical, Mystery, Adventure, Sports, Horror, Romance, and Realistic.

We also chose to add the following sub-genres: Mystery, Historical, Realistic, Romance, Paranormal, Supernatural, Horror, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Adventure, Bullying, Abuse, GLBTQ, Drugs, Tragedy, Short Stories, Thriller, Humor, Classics and Adult Fiction.

To catalog our sub-genres we also used the 655 tag and the 7 and a indicators. As you might notice several of our genres are also listed as sub-genres. To allow us to easily search the catalog for our books with, for example, Mystery as the main genre and not get books that had Mystery as the sub-genre, we chose to not add the school code in the second line of the 655 tag (as we did with the main genre). This way we could search Mystery and our school code and get only the books that had Mystery as the main genre. (If we just search for Mystery we would get all books that had Mystery as the main genre and/or the sub-genre).

Covering all our bases:
We chose to add the genre as the sub-location for each copy. This is easily done in Destiny by creating all ten genres as sub-locations. Sub-locations are options on some reports in Destiny and also shows up under Destiny Quest. After editing the MARC tag we would go under each copy of the title and change the sub-location. While under each copy we also added the genre to the front of the call number (Fantasy F GOC). By updating the call number we will be able to easily sort the books when we go to move them to their new locations. (It will also allow us to see any books we might have missed during the process).

To see how the project was completed read post two : Cataloging: Genre-fying Our Fiction Collection (Part 2)

February: Read Around the World Display

Spring break is quickly approaching, at my school that means that Interim will begin. During Interim students get several choices for activities and many of those choices include travel. Whether it is to a local city, domestic location or international location, we offer options for all. I decided to create a display around travel, but instead of out normal travel books I chose fiction books that had travel destinations in the title. I call the display "Read Around the World."  

Using Photoshop and Illustrator, I drew up some quick images of iconic locations from around the world.  Please feel free to use any in your display. I printed out the images and cut each one out to tape around the display.  

For the signage I made a blue circle to represent the "world" and then I placed the images around the "world." I manipulated the text to curve inside the circle and wrote the display title.

Once the display was up I felt it was missing something so I blew up the center text from the sign and cut out the words to place at the top of the display.
There were several ways I could have done this display and in the future I might dedicate two bookshelves and add travel books as well.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

February: Celebrate! Freedom, Equality, Diversity, Pride Display (Black History Month)

For Black History Month I created a display called "Celebrate! Freedom, Equality, Diversity and Pride." We had already created a Black History Month Display that focused on biographies and speeches, for this display we used fiction books based on historical events and historical figures. We also used non-fiction books that focused on important figures in African American history.

For the signage I drew a picture of the Africa and then I manipulated  four words (Freedom, equality, diversity and pride) to fit the shape of the continent. I used the same color scheme as our other Black History Month display :red, green, black and yellow.
To make the display more decorative we cut out several stars in the same color scheme and taped them all over the display. Very simple and easy display.

February: Words Have Power Display (Black History Month)

February is Black History Month, we created two displays to spotlight famous African Americans and events in history. Our first display is titled "Words Have Power." I wanted to create a display that focused on biographies and famous speeches. We pulled all our biographies on famous African Americans and then we pulled books on famous speeches (We had a few Martin Luther King Jr. books with his speeches). To fill in the display we also added books on how to write speeches.

The signage for the display was simple. I took keywords that described the people spotlighted in the display. I used the following colors to write the words: red, green, black and yellow.I then cut them out and taped them around the display.

 For the display sign I just wrote out "Words Have Power" in the color scheme above.

Please feel free to use any of the signage for your own display!

Friday, February 14, 2014

February: Blind Date With A Book

Love is in the air and it's time to create a Valentine's Day display for the library. Last year I made a "Blind Date With a Book" display (all our displays stay up for a two week period).

I found many ideas on Pinterest and from other library blogs. Here are a few that I used to gain inspiration:
I will be repeating the display again this year, and I will provide images/details in a few weeks.

To begin my display I choose approx. thirty four books. Our display shelf holds approx. twenty six books, but I was hopeful that the students would check out several books and we would need to be prepared to replenish the display frequently. I kept track of the books I chose using an excel spreadsheet. (I wanted to be sure that I did not use the same books when I repeated the display in the years to come). I also used the spreadsheet to number the books, list the barcode for each book and to add notes about what genre/topics the books represented.

With the help of our parent volunteers, we pulled all the books for the display. I then created "Rate your date" slips to put inside each book. The students would rate the book and then turn in the slip for a raffle at the end of the two week period. 

We then wrapped each book using different types of wrapping paper. To keep track of which book was which after it was wrapped we used the spreadsheet. Since each book was already numbered on the spreadsheet we decided to draw a large number on each book after it was wrapped instead of placing a temporary barcode on the book (as others have chosen to do). When the students checked out a book they would not be able to use the self checkout computer, instead we made a sign out sheet that they could write their name and the number that was on the book.

 I saw many ideas on Pinterest to entice students to pick a book. Some wrote summaries of the book or gave hints on the topic/genre. We decided to use both "genre" hints as well as "similar" books. For example: if the book was about vampires we wrote "for Twilight lovers" on the tag.

 I then created signs using Photoshop (signage ideas came from Pinterest and other library blogs). One sign explained the Blind Date process, one assured students that they could check out the books (I highly recommend having one of these) and one just because:

Once all of that was done it was now time for the fun part of decorating the display shelves. 
I found a tutorial on Pinterest teaching me how to make the heart chains that I used on the shelves as added decor. Here is the link to Strumpet's Crumpets:
I added the heart chains to the shelves and I also cut out paper hearts in different shades of pink and red. I folded the hearts in half and taped one side down on the outside edge of the shelves. It made the hearts really pop out and look great.

Overall the display was a huge success and we had many students checking out books. The raffle was held at the end of the two weeks and one student won a box of See's candy. I can't wait to see how this years display turns out!

Please feel free to use any of the signage/slips!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

February: Romance at the Library Display

It's time to showcase our romance novels! Our new display "Romance at the Library" features our favorite romance novels. I created a sign in Photoshop and placed it on shelf in the display, feel free to use it.
I then decorated the display with cut out paper hearts. I also used cute small heart garlands, you can find them at Baileyhadaparty on Etsy.
I also created layered hearts that I saw on Pinterest. It was hard to find a tutorial on how to create them but Michaels had one on their website, very easy to make! The students liked making these.

All in all this was a very easy display to put together. Along with the two other displays: Blind Date with a Book and Love, this rounded out our three display bookcases and made a wonderful edition to the Valentine's Day theme in the library.

February: Blind Date with a Book, AGAIN!

February is here again and I have a second chance at creating the Blind Date with a Book Display. This display was really popular last year. You can see the post on my first attempt here. This time the display was over the top with pink and red wrapping paper and tons and tons of valentine's decor.
I wanted to be sure I did not have repeat titles from last year's display so I dug up the spreadsheet of titles I made last time. I added the new books to the spreadsheet to help me out in the coming years. I used the same signs from last year, (You might notice that I did alter the colors and make the signs darker this time, but they are all the same wording as before). I also used the same sign out sheet, and rate your date slips.

I advertised the display on our website, Facebook, Pinterest, and school newsletter. We have students fill out "rate your date" slips to be entered in a raffle at the end of the two week display period.

The decor was different this time. I found three new ideas to make the display even cuter than it was last time. First I made "pop-up" hearts from an idea I found on Pinterest. It comes from Howtoorange and was really easy to make (although I used tape instead of glue). I then clustered the "pop-up" hearts on one area of the display and the effect was awesome!
I then created some layered hearts, I saw many examples of this on Pinterest but it was difficult finding a tutorial. actually ended up having a great one. These were really easy to make and I had students offering to create them for me. (I think they would be adorable with scrapbook paper in different prints).
I then added small and large heart garlands around the display. These are so cute and easy to hang in different ways. I used long ones to give a decorative feel to the display area as well. You can find them on Etsy as Baileyhadaparty.
The display has only been up for two days and we have already have six books checked out. I think I am going to need to wrap a lot more books to keep up with the demand! Has anyone else made a Blind Date with a Book display?

February: Love Display (LGBT)

Valentine's Day is here again and it is time for some new displays. This year, along with the classic "Blind Date with a Book" display and standard "Romance at the Library" display, I created a Love display to feature all of our LGBT romances.

I am lucky to work in a school that embraces diversity and I had many, many titles to choose from when creating the display. I started by doing a search of our collection for LGBT titles and adding them to a resource list. The ones that I was familiar with and already knew were romances I moved to a resource list for the Love display. Those that I was unfamiliar with I searched on Goodreads to see if they were romances (and if they had good reviews). I did make a point to not use all the romance LGBT books for this one display. I wanted to mix some in to our standard "Romance at the Library" display, and use some for the Blind Date display. Luckily we had plenty of books to use for all the displays.

I chose to simply call the display "Love" and I created a sign using Photoshop and placed it on a shelf in the display, please feel free to use it.

I then created some rainbow colored hearts for decor. I cut out standard hearts in all sizes. I then created some "pop-up" hearts using a tutorial I found on Pinterest from Howaboutorange. I did not follow the steps completely (I found it easier to use tape) but it is very easy to do and gives a great effect!
I then added garlands of small rainbow colored hearts. These were so cute and could be hung in many different ways. You can find them on Etsy at Baileyhadaparty, I used these throughout the Valentine's displays in different colors and sizes.
I'm really happy with how the display turned out and I hope to make it an annual display. Please let me know if you have done anything similar at your library.