Library’s Southeast Branch Introduces Theme-Based Picture Book Arrangement

Articles Library 01-22-16

For any parent who has ever searched the entire library for just one more picture book about dinosaurs, cats, trucks, or princesses, the Southeast Branch of the Arlington Public Library just made life a little easier.

Picture books at the Southeast Branch are now organized into 12 categories that represent major themes children can easily identify or relate to such as “animals”, “family”, and “bedtime”. Popular characters such as Clifford, Fancy Nancy, and Pete the Cat, can be easily located in the “favorites” category, while little readers practicing their 123’s and ABC’s will be well-served by the “concepts” section.

“By organizing the picture book titles into subject categories and favorite characters instead of alphabetical by author, we hope to make the collection easier for people to find the materials they want, and perhaps other books they didn’t even realize were available,” cataloging and processing supervisor Dan Bull said. “We designed this system with the public in mind.”

Children’s librarian Bethany Fort also emphasized the benefit this system has for children and caregivers who often request picture books based on a topic rather than a specific title or author.

“My favorite part of this new system is that it encourages the pre-reading child to be active in choosing a book,” Fort said. “They see pictures on the signs and understand that those books are about that topic.”

Library staff members are implementing the theme-based picture book arrangement across all seven library locations in Arlington. The East Arlington Branch was the first to move to the new shelving method, and the Southwest Branch will begin the transformation in February.

Patrons are encouraged to explore the new picture book arrangement and provide feedback about their experience. The Southeast Branch is located at 900 SE Green Oaks Blvd., and is open seven days a week.

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