Elizabeth M. Rivera
erivera at cclsd.org
Wed Jun 11 14:15:44 PDT 2014
From Jennie Garner in Iowa, who graciously allowed me to share (I'm
sharing on-list because I think others might be interested):
Great discussion! I’ve enjoyed reading the comments/questions and agree
with some opinions written from each school of thought.
And isn’t that the beauty of libraries? Librarians are historically
flexible and generally adapt for what works in their respective
communities; we tailor our collections, services and programs to meet
the needs/desires of our users. What works for one library may not work
at all for a neighbor even 30 miles down the road.
The boost in circulation of our nonfiction in all age ranges has us sold
that this system what works for North Liberty. In the first few months,
we had a good number of ART and ARCHITECTURE books checked out that had
never left the shelves under their Dewey numbers.
Here in North Liberty, we found that the majority of our patrons were
requesting books by subject – “can you tell me where your True Crime
books are?” or “where are your books on dogs?” “Parenting?”
“Childbirth?”, “Gardening?” So it felt natural for us to migrate our
collection to subject-based classification rather than assigning Dewey
numbers. We have found that using subject-based call numbers, as opposed
to Dewey, has been an intuitive and welcome switch for the majority of
our patrons (not all, we have had three patrons state that they didn’t
like it but many, many more who have complimented the change).
Staff are seeing less requests now for “where is this section” and
people simply reading our signage (our end caps list the subjects) and
finding the material on their own quite often. We unveiled by hanging up
large posters that told the story of the switch with actual spine label
examples enlarged to 80 point size font. We try to ask if people have
found what they need and explain our system if patrons don’t understand
but it has been a very smooth and easy transition for us. There are
always patrons who come straight to the desk no matter what title they
are looking for because it’s quick and easy.
But even with Dewey and its subject-based cataloging, there is still
some subjective decision-making happening for catalogers. You can go to
our SILO online and compare several libraries in Iowa with the same
title assigned a slightly or wholly different Dewey number and/or
different subject headings within a record as well.
While our collection is based on BISAC, it’s also localized to our
community. We have a section assigned WEDDINGS because we have a large
population of young people and a lot of interest in this area. In the
juvenile, we have DINOSAURS because it’s so popular.
It is definitely getting harder to assign genre labels to fiction as we
see romance-fantasy crossovers, etc. We did survey our patrons a couple
times and they resoundingly responded that they like the genre labels
and separate categorization so we do our best to assign according to the
descriptions and reviews.
It works for us here. When we were first discussing this change during a
presentation about it, a librarian said that sometimes she can’t find
what she’s searching for in the bookstore and the response from the
presenter was: “Librarians are the only ones who can’t find things in
Barnes & Noble.” J
Thanks for reading!
*Assistant Library Director*
*North Liberty Community Library*
*PO Box 320*
*North Liberty, IA 52317*
Please note that messages sent and received on this account may become
Elizabeth M. Rivera
Coquille Public Library
105 N Birch St
Coquille OR 97423
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the Libs-Or