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The Topeka & Shawnee Public Library’s Pilot Neighborhood Project. New Ways of Organizing Library Collections Presented by Jenny Ellis, St. Joseph Public Library Dawn Sanders, Spencer Art Reference Library At the Missouri Library Association Annual Conference, October 8, 2010. Sources.

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The Topeka & Shawnee Public Library’s Pilot Neighborhood Project


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    1. The Topeka & Shawnee Public Library’s Pilot Neighborhood Project New Ways of Organizing Library Collections Presented by Jenny Ellis, St. Joseph Public Library Dawn Sanders, Spencer Art Reference Library At the Missouri Library Association Annual Conference, October 8, 2010

    2. Sources Handouts and Resources for April 2009 Texas Library Association Presentation http://www.tscpl.org/dewey/comments/tla/ Renee Patzer, Cataloger, Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library rpatzer@tscpl.org Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library www.tscpl.org Hill, NanciMilone. “Dewey or Don’t We?” Public Libraries. Jul/Aug 2010, p. 14-20 Coalwell, Mickey. Library Merchandising and Marketing. Presentation given at St. Joseph Public Library Staff Day, September 24, 2010

    3. Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library • Original building 1883 • First bookmobile in a Chevrolet coupe and converted house trailer 1943 • Automation 1991 • Most recent expansion 2002

    4. Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library • 1 library serves 2 counties • 170,000 items in collection • 94,000 card holding patrons • 1,000 patron holds/day • 172 full-time, 69 part-time staff • 4.5 catalogers

    5. Neighborhoods • Definition: items from across the Dewey spectrum collocate by subject for better browsing, without compromising integrity of the database • Committee formed with representatives from each department to develop new model • Why: 5% decrease in annual non-fiction circulation vs. 10% increase in overall circulation

    6. Neighborhood Construction • Examined each Dewey number and decided whether to keep, change, or create new • Created new Dewey numbers (less than 5%) • Reclassified books as necessary • Conducted inventory for items in new neighborhoods • Documented the process in great detail, including creating definitions, number lists, and directory listings

    7. Multi-Media Items Shelved Together • DVDs and VHS tapes shelved with books • Tote bags shelved with other related materials

    8. Health Neighborhood Tote Bags

    9. Methods of Display Attractive signs Books turned facing out Laminated directories

    10. End Cap Displays • Marketing and • Merchandising • Help customers help themselves • Organize the library sensibly • Merchandise to facilitate self-service • Provide clear and helpful signs • Don’t make things confusing

    11. Disadvantages to Other Systems Traditional Library System • Patrons don’t browse non-fiction as much as other areas • 50% all with same Dewey number • 60% all in same Dewey decade • 70% all in same Dewey century • Patrons tend not to borrow same subject items from across Dewey spectrum; will mostly borrow from items on nearby shelves Bookstore System • It’s more difficult to find specific titles when using category system • Many titles might not easily fit in specific categories

    12. Blend Location Device With Collocation Device • Combining Dewey and bookstore approach = best of both worlds • Brings together like materials while retaining Dewey system • Quick retrieval of items using Dewey • Standardized labels easier to shelf-read vs. non-standardized spine info

    13. Health Neighborhood Details • 5,500-6,000 items • Group items from 300’s and 600’s • Improve organization (cataloging notes available on website) • Include use of bags & DVDs • Create displays in stacks • Health Information Room • Health education digital video screen • Partnership with St. Francis Health Center, Stormont-Vail HealthCare, Swogger Foundation, & grant from Topeka Community Foundation

    14. Jobs & Careers Neighborhood • All testing study guides brought together • Wide spectrum of Dewey numbers now shelved in same neighborhood • Internships and apprenticeships • Career exploration • Job searching • Job humor • Priority neighborhood due to economy

    15. Crime Neighborhood • True crime and criminology • Prison and prisoners • Forensics

    16. Lawn & Garden Neighborhood • Flowers organized A-Z • Oversized picture books on gardens • Butterfly, hummingbird, and bee gardens • Soil science

    17. Upcoming Neighborhoods • Pets • Cookery • Eventually all non-fiction to be included in neighborhoods, organized with Dewey system

    18. Improve Non-fiction Organization • Organization enables easy browsing • Patron friendly signs: patrons like bookstore signs applied in library setting • End-caps and shelf displays • Signs use common language • Patrons do not know where to start browsing in Dewey “Books displayed in neighborhoods are easier for customers to find, browse, and discover other titles pique their interest. The results are happy customers who check out more materials, expand their reading interests, and return for more, prompting double-digit increases in circulation numbers.” – NanciMilone Hill, “Dewey or Don’t We?” p. 15

    19. Examples • Autism books can be found in many areas throughout Dewey, but are together in the Neighborhood approach • Where would you find books in Dewey on how to obtain the best medical treatment? They are together under “General Medical” on Directory of the Health Information Neighborhood • Breastfeeding books are in parenting section of Dewey, but placed with women’s medical topics in the Health Neighborhood

    20. The Future of Neighborhoods • Book store approach more relaxed than traditional library method • Welcoming, less intimidating • Combine the best of both systems • End result is 30% increase in circulation

    21. Other Ways of Organizing Collections Miller Nichols Library, University of Missouri-Kansas City http://unews.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/Robot-Greta-moore-Amy-fortner.jpg St. Louis Public Library Express Branch

    22. Questions Would the neighborhood system work at your library? Why or why not? Is there another way of organizing that would work better at your library? Have you implemented other strategies that improved circulation of non-fiction items?

    23. Presenters Dawn Sanders Spencer Art Reference Library dsanders@nelson-atkins.org Jenny Ellis St. Joseph Public Library jellis@sjpl.lib.mo.us