07 January 2015
Libraries are filled with signs. There are signs designating particular areas of the collection, signs describing upcoming events, signs sharing reminders of rules and procedures. One of the things I noticed about our juvenile nonfiction collection was the lack of signs. There isn't even a sign that designates where exactly the juvenile nonfiction begins.
Also I've noticed that a majority of the questions I handle at the children's desk have to do with locating a particular item on the shelf. I don't mind getting up and showing people the area where the book is at all, but it would be nice for our patrons to have the option for a bit more independence in their browsing. Thus I created signage for our juvenile nonfiction.
Each sign has a clear, readable font with large letters with accompanying pictures for kids who are not yet reading independently. I printed the signs on cardstock, printing on both sides to they'd be readable from either approach, and had them laminated. After that, it was just a matter of sticking them in the shelves where they go and letting the patrons know. My conversations usually go something like this:
Patron: I'm looking for a book about papercrafts
Me: Well, let me show you where we keep our crafting books. Our crafting books are right here, in this area, and they start with that sign there. The papercrafts are on this shelf.
Patron: Thank you!
When possible/helpful, I also let them know the Dewey range for the book. I don't ever expect patrons to have Dewey memorized; I certainly don't myself. But I do want them to know that nonfiction books are in numerical order by subject and that there is some sense in the groupings. The signs, though, ensure that popular sections - like the dinosaur books - are always easily find-able for those who want them.