Face it…on the bookshelves

Hi friends,

I made a change in our library that I really like.

I must start by saying that shelving books is one of my FAVORITE things in the whole world. It’s right up there with cataloging for librarian fun. (I can’t believe I typed that with a straight face!)

Here’s what happened.

Over the weekend, I went to our local public library to stock up on books. (You, too?) Anyway, I saw that some of their bookshelves were not rows of spines. They alternated a few books facing out, at the reader.

I tried it in our library, in our horror section and it looks like this.

I like it. Yep. Our elementary students connect more readily with a colorful cover illustration than a spine of letters.

After the first few students take books, yes, some books do fall down. But, um, that is already happening on our bookshelves, all day long.

Yes, you do need extra space if you’re gonna face the books outward. I happened to have a lot of room in this area, so we turned a lot of books. If I only had a little room, I would only turn a few books.

Either way, I think that this little change helps the library to be a friendlier environment for our students.

Have any of you tried this? Or do you have an even better way to show off books?

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    1. I have some face out display stands wherever there’s space on the shelves. Can’t ever keep them stocked! If I remembered where I got them I’d post the link. Handy dandy!

      1. It’s kind of amazing how much difference the book cover makes, isn’t it? I tend to forget this when I’m shelving books like spiny soldiers, in a monotonous row!

      1. I couldn’t see your photo. I was asked for an Edline login. Do you have another way to share it? Can you post it to the Library Centers Facebook fan page? I appreciate your suggestion, and I’m curious to see what your solution looks like!

      2. Oh, thanks for sharing the photo. Now I see what you mean. What a great idea to add molding to the wall just above the shelves so you can set books there, facing out!

    2. I shelve books so that there is room at the end of every row for 1 or 2 books turned out from that row. I don’t have a lot of room but it really pays to do that. I often will turn out a series book from that shelf and then the rest will go out eventually. Or I will put out a book that hasn’t gone out for a while. I have a student worker and her job is to restock the turned out books first thing when she gets to the library. she often comments on all the ones that are gone- And that is when I replace them occasionally throughout the day when I am walking by a bare shelf.

      I know when I go browsing for books I tend to pick out the ones turned out first.

      1. Thanks for your comment! I like the idea of having a student worker focus on turning out books for other students! And I agree–we are all drawn in by the beautiful book covers.

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