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Children's Picture Books Arranged by Topic

One of our children's librarians wanted to undertake a genre organization of the easy fiction books in our Children's section, and we eventually settled on the above 40 categories. We could have gotten by with condensing the holiday books into one big section, but they had already been stickered as such, so we thought why not. We also probably could have eliminated the Space section, and I wish we had included dragons with Dinosaurs.

Our process was to first go through our Easies and sticker every book, determining what Topic it was. This was also a good opportunity for weeding and removing duplicates in our collection. We made our labels on Canva and had them custom printed at Demco. Most books can fall into more than one category, and it's very easy to start overthinking it. It's best to keep in mind the goal is for kids to find their interest.

Once we had them all labeled, we closed off the area and made piles for each section.

This took a couple of days and we did have some kids come by while we were working, but it went surprisingly smooth.

Although it was definitely a hot mess there for a minute. Once they were sorted, we were able to reshelf them alphabetically by topic.

We had to lay some ground rules. For example, if a Favorite Character Books was holiday themed, it stayed in Favorite Characters. However, some series we had didn't make it to Favorite Characters (like Dear Dinosaurs). Those did get moved to the appropriate holiday section. We put pirate stories in Adventure rather than Ocean, and Mermaids in Fables and Fairy Tales. Christmas books were about Santa, elves, reindeer, etc -- if they had a religious connotation or reference, they were put in the Faith category.

Our Favorite Characters varied by branch. Our main branch collection has Amelia Bedelia, Angelina Ballerina, Arthur, Barbie, The Berenstain Bears, Clifford, Curious George, Dr. Seuss, Elephant & Piggie, Fancy Nancy, Franklin the Turtle, Henry and Mudge, Katie Woo, Lego, Madeline, Max and Zoe, Mickey Mouse & Friends, Olivia, Pete the Cat, Pinkalicious, Spot, Star Wars, Thomas the Train, Winnie the Pooh, and Splat the Cat. To be considered a Favorite Character, it had to be something patrons ask/look for or checks out regularly, and we had to have at least 5 books. We tried to keep it around two dozen so the section didn't get too huge.

Once we finished, we hung laminated signs around the shelves explaining the reorganization, as well as a big poster up front. From conception to completion, the project took about a month. It has been very well received so far.


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