Wednesday, November 28, 2012

One Step Ahead



Parts of this process are not graceful! I have several reliable volunteers who come in every week to pull, label, or change the spine labels for titles I have identified as "Next" in this process (usually because they are popular, but sometimes because I need to move them for another part of the collection).

I am struggling in keeping one step in front of my dutiful volunteers!

Since they each know different parts of the process, they each need a little work station (space is at a bit of a premium) with individualized supplies. The flow is clumsy and communication unreliable.  I want a separate work room to pile, sort, and process in order and with completion! Kids were making book choices off the processing cart today... While I am always pleased to check out any book to a child, I feel like it would be so much more efficient to complete the 3-4 things that have to happen to each book in one sitting. Realistic?? Is this how I should spend next summer?? Maybe this organized chaos is part of the beauty of the transition to METIS and I am missing it completely? Do I need to do another training and expand the breadth of their understanding so they will function more independently? YIKES!

For now, baby steps. I am not identifying new areas until the 5-6 we have started are more complete. I will create communication systems with my volunteers so I can know where they left off. (I have a big notebook, but it is cumbersome)... Keeping everyone (including the many OTHER volunteers that wander through up to speed is tricky, too-- they all are not reading this blog)... but maybe this signage will help!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Movement

I was reminded today of my first years as a librarian and how I spent so many Saturdays moving things around to make them more accessible for my young patrons. This mornings adventures included beginning the alphabetization by METIS category, and creating a wall for the folks who work in the library, for teachers, and older students to begin to see the big picture. It will serve as quick reference and a guide organizationally for our progress.

I suspect that over the next few months as I assure buy-in, I will have support and understanding when large shifts are made. Worried resisters of change will ask, "But what about the military dog book with the tank on the cover???"and I am sweetly replying "Let's ask the kids".

For now, I need road maps, bookmarks or signage to help my volunteers put things away, and easily identifiable markers to point to ("Scary? See the big 'U'?").

Organizationally, based on the current arrangement of the room, I have decided to work from now on primarily alphabetically. I will be initially pulling form the Non Fiction and will blend in Picture books as I get to them.

Done? A CONCEPTS, B MACHINES, C SCIENCE (almost), O TRADITIONS, P TALES, Q VERSE, U SCARY.

Next? D NATURE. For the record, I never turn away volunteers and if you want to be a part of this effort, jump in.


METIS CATOGORIES

A FACTS
B MACHINES
C SCIENCE
D NATURE
E ANIMALS
F PETS
G MAKING STUFF
H ARTS
I SPORTS
J OURSELVES
K COMMUNITY
L USA
M COUNTRIES
N LANGUAGES
O TRADITIONS
P TALES
Q VERSE
R HUMOR
S MYSTERY
T ADVENTURE
U SCARY
V GRAPHIC
W MEMOIR
X PICTURE STORIES
Y BEGINNING FICTION
Z TRICKIER FICTION

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

True v. Not ture

I was always challenged in putting tooth fairy, santa and leprechaun books in with fantasy-- telling a second grader Santa was not real has never been comfortable. Now that we have labels to designate true/not true so clearly, I am still concerned. There may be some categories I avoid...

In the meantime I am excited that the second phase of the re-cataloging is about to launch: the labels are here (green=true, red=fake)! METIS includes a designation sticker for true/not true books. I am likely NOT going to do this for the whole collection, but in may sections it will be useful. As I explain the process to teachers, I have even had several ask... "Can we help?". Kids are taught to determine between fact and fiction and what better opportunity to get 'er done?! I am plotting the layout: stations, a pile of books, a sticker station, an "i dunno" table, a label protector station, shelvers. Aahhhh, ti's all coming together.

Labels

I have always loved the signage opportunities in the library. I have celebrated creating an organizational system that would work for my students. Before I killed Dewey, I used empty video boxes to identify each section. Aside from the regular question "Can I take out this movie?", they have served us well.


Anything with a number was true (I even had 741, 398.2 and 811 in separate sections to assist in the instrucion around informational texts. "Everything on that wall is true".



Buckets, buckets, buckets...

I have used white dish tubs to organize the picture books in the library by author. As we launch into this new way of organization, I though the buckets could be re-purposed for the new system.... so this morning I moved all 4000 picture books onto shelves and have started gathering the METIS buckets on top... two systems for a while. It will be a miracle if I do not send anyone who works in this room over the edge.


As I rounded the corner, dumping buckets, I started paying attention to titles... "Oh, this is 'O CHRISTMAS'; this is 'U SCARY TALES' and this is 'P GOOSE'". Some of these decisions are intuitive and will come naturally. Others, I am sure, and as others have warned will cause angst. For now, the simple, the clear, the obvious.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Plugging away...

We have only tackled a few sections at this point... B - Machines ("I want a truck book" now results in a finger point to the B Buckets. The folks doing circulation are poised to snatch stragglers-- this has become a cumbersome part of the project: we batch process large numbers initially, and are now dealing with dribble of books each needing individual processing.

Some distinctions have been tricky-- "Military" Dogs with a tank on the cover-- B for Machines? K for Community Helpers?? Animal Books??? Every person I asked (Principal, Art teacher, child, Library assistant) gave me a different answer. Herein lies the challenge and the excitement: It doesn't matter! I need to see this system through the lens of my students and wherever we decide, the book will be accessible through the catalog.