“Mrs. Bullington, what’s a good book to read?”
More often than not these days, my answer to this question is one of several book series that have been popular in our library: the Mortal Instruments series, the Hunger Games series, the Immortals series, the Wake trilogy…the list goes on and on.
Helping Students Help Themselves
Once students have read the first book in the series, they often want to check out the second title. If I am not working with a teacher, student, or class, I love to help inquiring readers locate the right book. But what about those times when I’m not available? How can I still assist readers?
Last year, I created a Recommended Reads notebook that is displayed on one of the counters at the Circulation Desk. It has been one of the best reader’s advisory tools in our library.
This year, I decided to tackle the series in our collection and “Operation: Save Our Series” was launched. Each title in a series is identified with a label located under the call number. The label simply states “Series” and the number of the title in the series. We began pulling books and applying the labels three weeks ago.
To ensure accuracy in labeling, I checked those titles with which I was unfamiliar using the Mid Continent Public Library’s Juvenile Series and Sequels site. After an intensive first week, my service learners had identified and pulled myriads of series from the shelves.
They Just Keep Coming!
Who knew we had so many series? It seems each time I walk through the fiction area, I notice another series that has escaped our labeling efforts. Slowly, but surely, we are creating order out of series chaos.
The next step in the process is checking the catalog records for each series. Unfortunately, many records do not indicate that a title is part of a series, so in spare pockets of time (we all know how rare those are!) I am updating catalog records to reflect this.
Efforts are Rewarded
At our book club meeting this week, I shared the new series labels with the students. While many members are daily library users and had seen “Operation: Save the Series” in action, others were pleasantly surprised by the news. All twenty-four students burst into applause at the announcement, though, making our efforts all worthwhile!