I’ve put a lot of thought into Kevin Hennah’s urging that librarians and teacher-librarians take note of how shops promote the books (and other goods) they wish to sell quickly: they have the beautiful covers turned out to face the customers. Most libraries have the spines out: to save room, to save reshelving time, and to make it easy to locate books by their call numbers. And shops maximise the use of the ends of their rows of shelves.
Since many students come to the library to browse, maybe strict Dewey order and “spines out” is not the most user-friendly strategy?
Slant boards seemed to be a great way to maximise the use of shelf ends, for covers-out displays, in the libraries shown in Kevin’s slideshow presentation. But I imagine these slant boards are very expensive, and our school library doesn’t have all that many exposed shelf ends anyway.
I’ve had a picture in my mind of something sturdy enough to withstand students (I’ve seen plenty of fragile, perspex, document holders), and yet it can’t require more painting for my wearing-out wrists. Yesterday, I found a fascinating selection of Japanese homewares:
* plastic (and very strongly magnetic) Magnet Pockets (in the colours of dayglo lime, dayglo orange and brown)
* two sizes of Sukitto white plastic baskets, which can be suspended by plastic hooks.
Each of these pieces: only $3 from Hot Dollar.
The magnetic boxes fitted perfectly on the Premier’s Reading Challenge shelf ends, and the boxes easily take the mass of a paperback book:
After taking this picture, I found one more lime box left in the shop and was able to improve my colour coordination a bit. (Actually, this one was wrongly price-ticketed and I was charged only $2.50.) The orange boxes are now being used in another section of the library, coicidentally this was the colour I’d be using in “Non Fiction”, remember? I’m contemplating spray-painting the brown boxes PRC purple, but the brown does match the shelving frames.
This long white basket hangs from the otherwise-exposed (and completely wasted) back of a huge wire book rack. The basket can supposedly hold ten kilograms of books:
These smaller white baskets fill an otherwise-dead corner of “Junior Fiction”, right near the front door!
So, until there’s money to fritter away on purpose-built wooden slant boards, these nifty Japanese baskets will at least get us thinking more like a shop, and hopefully more browser-conscious than reshelver-conscious.
The other simple “front-on” success was choosing to stock this spinner rack with vibrant “animal books” – I find it’s almost impossible to keep it restocked! The students gravitate towards the rack, and it’s often picked clean! I have several students who love to come in at lunchtime and restock it.
Likewise, this “Hot” spinner rack of “Aussie bites”, “Aussie nibbles” and “Aussie chomps”: