With the acquisition of several new shelving systems in the Children’s Library, a cascade of changes have been made to item locations in the Fulmer Library that will make for an improved experience for both our adult and young patrons.
In November, the director of Sublette County Library in Pinedale sent out a message saying they were making some changes to their children’s area and offered other libraries the chance to take six wooden book bins they would no longer be using. Our library director Cameron Duff responded quickly to the offer and we were able to take the bins, free of charge.
The wooden bins are less than 3 feet tall and allow books to be arranged facing forward rather than having just the spine of the book on display, as is the case with regular shelves. The bins have cutouts of moose, bear, fox and beavers and are on rollers for easy mobility. To accommodate more books, we had six additional bins built by a local woodworker.
Fulmer Children’s Librarian Michelle Havenga began moving books into the new bins on Friday, Feb. 3 and completed the process by the afternoon of Feb. 6.
“There was lots of measuring and pondering,” she said. “They take up the same floor space but it made the whole area look different. It has been interesting. The kids used to run in and look at toys but now they are stopping to look at the books. They are just more visually appealing from the front.”
This appeal has resulted in more checkouts. In the days since the bins were stocked with books, circulation of children’s books has increased 20 percent.
Two of the larger, longer shelves removed from the Children’s Library to make space for the new bins were moved to the Young Adult area to house novels. In the past, the YA books were divided in two spaces. Novels by authors with last names beginning with A through K were housed, along with graphic novels, on shelves near the staircase. The remainder of the collection, with author last names of L through Z, was housed on the back wall of the YA reading and computer area, causing some confusion for patrons.
“The YA collection, over the last 10 years, has been growing a lot and it gets a lot of use and checkouts,” said Anita Weisheit, reference manager. “It basically kept outgrowing its shelving space. It got broken up and it was a little awkward. Most of the kids are smart enough to figure it out, but we had questions from people. It was confusing because the novels weren’t all together.”
With the new, longer shelves from the Children’s Library, the YA novels are now grouped together near the staircase and the graphic novel collection has moved to the back wall of the YA reading and computer area.
The remaining two shelves removed from the Children’s Library were placed in The Wyoming Room. The Wyoming Room has been undergoing reorganization and rearranging of materials for several months and space has been at a premium. The new shelves now hold obituary and cemetery records.
“The obituaries were initially on some of our wall shelving and we needed more space there for different records, so it freed up space for some long-term use of other materials,” said Kim Ostermyer, Wyoming Room lead. “It gives us a better chance to organize those records and keep them in close proximity to each other since people doing genealogy research tend to use those two records in conjunction.”
“It’s one of those neat things that because the Pinedale library was making a change, three of our library’s departments benefitted,” said Havenga, about the recent reorganization. “We couldn’t have afforded to buy bins like these, so it is neat how things come into place.”