Standard III. School library media coordinators implement a comprehensive 21st Century library media program.
Element a. School library media coordinators develop a library collection that supports 21st Century teaching and learning.
Element b. School library media coordinators serve, promote and facilitate inquiry-based instruction and the effective use of information and technology.
Using Dewey – Thinking about what’s best for students
Dewey makes a lot of sense for organizing books in the library. It is ,however, not perfect. As I began to have to direct students to nonfiction books on particular subjects, I kept thinking, “How difficult is this for a 2nd grader?”
With that in mind, I began to group books by topic. Dewey was mainly used, but where Dewey, didn’t fit, subjects prevailed. I also went with only one or two decimal places if at all possible. After all, if a kid wants a book on dinosaurs, planets, or policemen, the most important thing is that he can find those books.
I found some moves were subtle (like moving all the cat books to a single shelf), but other moves were more drastic (like moving US government books from the 300s to the 970s with the other books about the US).
This slight reorganization, labeling shelves, and color coding the library has resulted in students being able to find the books they want with just a few verbal directions.
The following spreadsheet represents the reorganization of Dewey used.
For several years, I’ve submitted grants to Donor’s Choose to help build the collection or make the space more enticing.
My first donor’s choose project was for science materials in the library.
My second Donor’s Choose project was for technology/computer/coding books.
The third one added bikes to the library. While this didn’t build the collection, it did help make reading more exciting!
Here’s a link to, A Mountain of Teacher Awesomeness, an article about WSFCS teachers using Donor’s Choose. I was one of the featured teachers.
Collecting and using data about the current state of the collection helps me to make plans for where to take the collection.