Circulation Makeover

In my library I have one empty shelf. In all of the sections of the library there is just one shelf that is not needed for circulating books. All of the other shelves are 3/4 or completely full. There are no half shelves.

I was visiting another library and noticed two small out of the way shelves that were labeled “Halloween” and “Autumn.” I could immediately tell that the shelves get a lot of traffic. Students and teachers know where they are and that they hold seasonal and ‘hot topic’ books.

Keeping books on ‘display’ is a challenge. They are always checked out! This is a great problem, but organizing displays by more seriously searched-for themes is tricky. Teachers coming in for the one book they always teach with for that holiday or season won’t immediately know which shelf top I’ve set the display on. And then, is it on display? checked out? or still on the shelf? I loved the idea of labeling a shelf for display and not really showcasing the books, but storing them differently.

Except….I have no shelves available. The one empty shelf is in a corner with a dehumidifier in front of it. I started examining the space I have available and discovered that there is one large space available perfect for displays.

This is the best space I have and it’s not very well organized, but functional. The return bins sit on top of three electrical carts that can be rolled around as needed. The shelves underneath hold miscellaneous junk that should really be put away. It’s not the most attractive space in the library.

After deciding what I wanted to do I started to keep my eye out for the perfect shelves. I decided to get one of those 1×5 shelves from Ikea. When I went to buy the shelf (and I did), I had to go back into the store for a forgotten item. While on my second trip into the store I noticed a type of shelf better suited to my needs.

A week later, my circulation area looks like this:

I’m completely thrilled!

I have room to display books for nine topics and subjects. The shelves are in the Trofast series from Ikea. There are three shelves in this space, each with 3 cubbies. I bought 2 originally and then went back to get the third. I’ve got a few labeled for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Gingerbread and a few books in the slot for Snow already. The tubs are a bit shorter so that my Kinders can easily return their books and there is still room on the top for bookmarks, shelf markers, etc.

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