From day one of our Children’s Library being opened, we realized that we had a problem: people trying to help reshelve books for us. Every time we hear a mother try to teach her child to be good (a child who is yet to learn his/her ABC’s) and “put that back where you found it,” we have visions of these sorts of things (actual recent discoveries pictured):
Many libraries have carts that have signs that say something like “place unwanted books here.” Unfortunately, our library lacks space, and we knew that not having something like that was hurting the situation. Compounding the issue is that kids have trouble grasping that in most situations they should put things back where they found them, but at the library that’s not what they should do.
It was after a day of finding a painful amount of damaged reshelves that my team suddenly leapt into action. Brittany started it with offering to bring in some canvas organizational boxes that would fit on our shelves. And then Jennifer chimed in that she thought we could add some small tags to our shelves with something like “do not reshelve” on them, to help point this out. It really was an exciting and intense few minutes of inspiration, sharing, and action.
We put up about six shelf talkers by the end of the day (we didn’t want to overkill the message). We sticky-tacked the signs up so that we could move/remove them if need be at any time. We’ve only had one pulled off so far, and they’ve been up for about a month now.
The next day Brittany brought in some sturdy canvas organizers of various bright colors, and some puff paint. Using her amazing baking skills (seriously, she’s an amazing baker), she piped on the words “Return Books Here” onto each one. We made sure to only have them on the bottom shelves for safety’s sake.
Picture time! So much funner than me blathering time!
UPDATE TIME: See the little sign on top of the bookcase on the above picture? We have since updated it with a much friendlier “Please Let Us Do the Reshelving” signs.
Exclamation point time!
I can’t even tell you the difference the signs and boxes have made for us! Shelf reading is less likely to lead to tears of exhaustion! Less damage to books! Best of all? We’ve had lots of fabulous feedback from parents!
Bullet point time!
- They’re a clear-cut way to encourage both parents and kids to do a thing that tremendously helps us.
- Kids easily grasp the concept of where the library books should go.
- Parents don’t feel as bad when one of their children go on a “pull everything off the shelf” spree.
- They don’t take up a whole lot of space, but they hold a lot of material.
- We can bring the boxes up to the circulation desk if there’s a large number of books in them.
Basically, what I’m saying is that we love these organizational boxes.
End of post time!