Monday, January 07, 2013

Put a (Series) Number on It!

Number stickers in (in)action
A recent discussion on Twitter regarding the "new order" of the Chronicles of Narnia series prompted me to share how we handled this situation at my work. We actually put numbered stickers on all of the series books in the J and YA sections. This way I can put whatever order of numbers I want on C.S. Lewis's classic series.

I know it sounds like a lot of work to go back and do this retroactively, but it wasn't bad (says the staffer who didn't do it herself). When my assistant is processing new books, she looks up titles in the What's Next database maintained by Kent District Library (coincidentally, my previous employer). The numbered stickers were purchased from a vendor before I started working here, but most of them have been applied during my tenure. The trickiest books to do were all of the different Nancy Drews, because there are so. many. different. ones. The stickers go from 0-9, so she does have to trim some of them to fit if a book is in the double digits. We do put a 0 on prequels.

I think this is a great option for medium-size collections like ours. Our reference/circulation area in our youth department is combined and only has one dedicated computer for staff to use when assisting patrons, so it's great for us that no one has to look up the order of books in a series that we own, assuming that they are on the shelf. Patrons also appreciate having that information readily available to them.

3 comments:

Look at you going all Ranganathan on us by saving the time of the reader. Great idea! And easy. And cheap. And leaves crabby Tech Services people out of the loop.

Hi! Geri here, working in McFarland, WI, a small town of about 8000 people. We've been including volume numbers on all J & YA series books for 7+ years, whether or not the book "officially" has a number. I work with a very collegial TS person who agrees with the pragmatic concept of making it easier for everyone, patrons or staff, to easily identify the order of a series. We simply add "v.1" (etc.) to the call no. It's a win-win in my book!

Thank you! Nothing is more maddening than picking up a book and getting in home, only for the kid to discover it's not the first book in the series.