Today, I got to spend some time shelving books with the 5th grade media helpers. We worked on books that had been checked the day before and a few books that had came in this morning.
When the books are checked in, the children are not responsible for separating into sections so that was the first thing we had to do. We separated the books according to fiction, nonfiction, and award winning; then we sorted the nonfiction into more specific groups (biographies, plants & animals, people & places) and separated the fiction and “easy” fiction. Having two different fiction sections is a decision our librarian made. She feels having the easier books apart from the chapter books keeps the smaller children from being bombarded by older students on occasions when they are in the library together. It also helps with directing students to books on their AR level. There are also special shelves for Caldecott, Coretta Scott King, North Carolina Book Award, and Newbery winners.
Once we got the books sorted, we were able to get the books shelved. Our library shelves are marked by authors’ last names instead of call numbers. The books have a sticker on the spin with the author’s last initial on it. Working with children makes it virtually impossible to shelve by numbers; they will never get put back in the right place!