Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Collection presentation & adjustment

Most of last year, and the bulk of this summer, was spent planning, purchasing, and processing collection items for the new IRC at the AU Columbus Center. The beginning of September brought an 'official' space planning visit; time was spent arranging furniture and the collection. Determining what should go where is fraught with challenge. For me, the IRC has always been a more fluid area. With the exception of this summer, I have moved one collection or another on the second floor to make things 'fit better' and be more useful and accessible for patrons. Therefore, one of the last things I said to the GA helping me was, live with it for a few months (this term). We can always move things around later.

Truer words ... After ordering media bags for the big books in Columbus, I developed display envy and determined to find a better way to present the main campus collection. Several days' research into library shelving led me to Library Design Association, they sent sample media rack bars from MJ Industries and Estey. I was able to test them in our stacks; one was perfect for audio books and the other for big books.

Last Friday the bars arrived, Monday I began the task of putting each of the big books into a hanging bag (it took significantly longer than anticipated) and organizing the collection. It looks wonderful! The bags hang spine out so labels on the top and bottom left corner are easily visible; the collection is presented in LC order. There is adequate room for users to browse the collection without having to pull big books from the cart.

This move has an added benefit, the adjacent collection is audio books and several of the big books have corresponding audio elements available. Placing the collection in LC order revealed a few holes, it would benefit to have a few more basic fiction and Spanish language titles (though I probably will need to purchase two more racks to facilitate the weight of these purchases). Signage is in place, the collection is ready for use, and notices were posted on the IRC news blog and scheduled to post on the library news blog later this week. The best thing? Students required to use big books in one of the children's literature classes have already commented happily on the change.

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