Kinda Like Walmart
The other day a patron expressed some frustration at how the children’s collection is organized, “You have moved things and I don’t like it.” I have actually even heard people say, “You are just like Wal-Mart, moving things around all the time.” I took a little offense at that, probably because I also get frustrated when things are moved. I still feel like the chips should be in the second to last aisle of the store. But, I guess I must admit that we are kinda like Walmart. Well, we do move things, and it is kinda for the same reason, “marketing”.
If Walmart never moved items, how would all of the new things, that you didn’t even know you wanted, end up in your cart. Yep, if things never moved, we could walk through the store with our eyes closed and just pick all the things we needed and that would be it. If your goal is moving product and making money, closed eyes are not what you want. The library has similar goals, moving material and well, not making money, but we do want your eyes open so that you can see all the things available to you.
Our material doesn’t usually move quite as drastically as Walmart, but it can change and probably always will. The collection is like an accordion, it goes in and out. Material comes in and the shelf grows, material is checked out and the shelf gets smaller. We move material to make displays, sort of like the endcaps at Walmart. Sometimes the endcaps are nice, like during the Superbowl, when the Velvetta, Rotel and chips are all in one spot to pick up. Same idea for us, you like graphic novels, here they are all together on display, one stop shopping.
Other moves can happen, during weeding (more room) or purchasing (less room). Maybe we move things because it just wasn’t right before. Keep in mind the Dewey Decimal system has been in use since 1876, but librarians like to put their own spin on it, heck, some of them chose to not use it at all, so, yep, more moving. We used to shelve all the children’s non-fiction material by a few general topics; animals, space, etc. That seems kid friendly, and it kinda was, but it was in no way librarian or parent friendly. It was a nightmare shelving and trying to find specific titles. Now that section is shelved by the 1876 model known as Dewey and it all makes perfect sense to us. The kiddos might not get it, so we have added images to get them to the right spot. Funny thing is, it still divides up into general categories, but now, instead of the tiger books being scattered throughout a collection of animal books, they are all right beside each other. Back to that marketing idea, what is better than one tiger book? Two! Three! Our reader leaves happy and we moved more product.
I want to warn you right now that the adult non-fiction has shifted some and I am not done with it yet. Previous thought had been that going out more than one decimal was not preferred. Example: Cookbooks are all 641.5 The problem with this is the same as the tiger example. Say I am looking for gluten free recipes, 24 books show up on the card catalog search, and you guessed it, they are not together. We will be taking care of this soon, be patient, it really is for you.
I know the decimal system might not mean anything to you, thanks to Barnes and Noble, people no longer remember that there is an organization system that has worked pretty good for the last 144 years. Don’t fret, I get it, you are not librarians, so I am going to make things easier for you, just as we did in fiction. Remember when we added color coded stickers to guide you to your favorite genres? We will be adding some labels to our Dewey numbers. You can either use the card catalog, or stroll through the stacks to find the cookbook section, the space section, the self-help section, etc.
Yep, we are kinda like Walmart, but it is mostly to make things better for you, I promise.
Upcoming Events: 12/9 Story Time in the Community room (masks required for adults) at 10am, 12/12 Special Christmas themed STEAM at 10:30am