Friday, May 15, 2009

"Gardening" in the Fiction Collection

Today has been such a great day! I'm weeding our fiction collection for probably the fourth time since I came to this school 6 years ago. I remember the first time I weeded fiction, I was EXTREMELY conservative - - pulling only those titles that had never circulated, or maybe only went out once or twice 10 years or so prior to the year I weeded. As I dove into the fiction collection several more times over the next few years, my criteria for weeding because less restrictive and the highly-sought-after titles became more apparent when browsing the shelves.

Today's project involved pulling all books with orange dots on the spine. Those dots represent fiction titles that were part of the original school collection - - purchased more than 15 years ago. After pulling books all morning, we're now surrounded by 5 filled-to-the-brim carts of books and are thrilled with the way the fiction collection now showcases the "good stuff." Over the last few years, our media staff has been diligent about fulfilling student and teacher book purchase requests and staying on top of the latest, hottest titles and authors our kiddos like to read. These types of materials have steadily been added to the collection since my arrival, and now, the fiction shelves actually show them off!

I've had a nice trip down Memory Lane today. I've revisited the Choose Your Own Adventure series, of which I was incredibly fond of as an elementary school student. Eve Bunting and Beverly Cleary were also staples in my personal bookshelf as a youngster. Some of these books even have that smell of an old elementary school library. We media staffers each paused to open the pages of one particularly odorous volume and passed the book around for a step back in time.

Today's adventures make me excited about next year and the opportunities to continue building an exciting, well-read fiction collection for our students. It's time to get "Back to Basics" - - - matching kids with books they'll love so they'll learn more about their world and become better readers through that process. That's why I come to work each day and that's what today's adventures were all about.

-Kristen :-)


mindyht said...

You've made me look at my fiction collection in a different way. I've been hesitant to do a lot of weeding, knowing the books that are there are *good* books on the whole, only dated. But you're right--if the older books are keeping the collection from looking vibrant, it's probably time to do something about it.

The Keeper said...

I love to weed! With a new collection, I haven't needed to weed, but I can see a few titles that will probably be gone next year. I'll try the fancy display, the booktalking, etc., first, but those Little House on the Prairie books that I ended up with....probably going soon...