As I’ve been taking more and more pictures of the library, I’ve noticed that things that have somewhat bothered me now REALLY FREAKIN’ BOTHER ME when I see them on film (well, technically on the computer screen).
Case in point: I was trying to take pictures of our birthday decorations when I noticed our Story Stow bags schlumped over and looking so messy and…just schlumpy. Story Stows are basically an instant storytime-with-activities in a bag. I’ve actually taken several down to get them out of the shots because all I could look at was the messy-looking bags in the picture.
It was later that week when I was dusting the shelves that one of the bags that I’d just moved and put back suddenly fell onto the floor. After a stunned moment of silence, I picked it back up and carefully put it back on the shelf. It was in that moment that I realized that we were just asking for a child to get hurt if we didn’t do something about these bags.
What I decided to do was get some of those “don’t damage the walls” hooks and put them up along the wall. The biggest debate was about how high I should place the hooks because I wanted the hooks at the same height, but almost every bag is a different size. So I picked one of the small/shorter handled bags and used that as the guide. I knew that the hooks couldn’t hold the weight of the bags, but they would hopefully slow the fall if a bag started to slide.
Super-awesome-bonus? How much easier it is to see the bags’ topics. Also, prior to the hooks they were randomly placed on top of the shelf where there was space. Now they’re alphabetized (I know – totally scandalous in a library).
Oh how my organizational heart sings!
Update: We finally made it through our Summer Reading Program, and let me tell you what – not a single hook remains. Both children and adults more often than not would yank on the handles instead of either lifting the handles off of the hooks, or asking for help. The stickiness of the backing would be shot after the first time the hooks came off, and so I was replacing the sticky backing a lot. And it seemed that within a day or two, we’d hear the “plink” of a plastic hook falling behind the bookcase (or into the bag).
I’m not giving up on this yet – mainly because of the safety issue. I plan on getting heavier-duty hooks when our budget year starts back up, and then placing the hooks a little bit lower. I’m pretty optimistic that the hooks will last a little bit longer since summer is their #1 checkout time (seriously, it was shocking if we had more than three of the bags in at a time). Again, I’ll update this post if there’s anything worth updating!
Update of the Update: The stronger hooks didn’t help, either! BLARG! We eventually revamped our bags so that they’re all the same size, and a smaller size at that! They look much better, and haven’t slid off…yet.