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Saturday, June 9, 2012

From Books to Bibs: How to Organize a Home Library

From Books to Bibs!
Patti Londa Greene
For the past four years, I have operated in two realms of life - A high school librarian by day and co-owner of the Bib Shoppe by night. I “baptized” myself with my new slogan now that I am officially retired from being a librarian. The new slogan that sums up my life at this point is “From Books to Bibs.”
My slogan came to me after I decided to leave librarianship and go into selling bibs, burps, and more full-time. But, really that isn’t totally true, because once you are a librarian you are always a librarian. I have learned a lot being a librarian that got me to the point I am in selling adult bibs, baby bibs, and cute minky blankets. I learned about organization, budgeting, researching, purchasing, receiving, making forms, cultivating politeness, helping clients, prioritizing, making web pages, accepting all types of people, and so much more.
So while going from ‘Books to Bibs’ may sound strange to some, it is a natural progression in my journey in life.  But, as God chooses our talents and provides opportunities for us to use them, two days into my retirement, someone asked me how to set up their home library. And, still hanging on to my library zeal, I typed up some little hints for him.
So, I thought you, my friends, might be interested in a very rudimentary and very general idea of how you might set up a home library.
General Ideas for Setting up a Home Library
Fiction Books – Either put them together randomly, or if you want to organize them, put them in order by the author’s last name. FIC AUT
Special Fiction Books – If you have a special topic or hobby you enjoy reading about, this is where you might want to separate them from your regular fiction, i.e. Christian fiction; Sports fiction; War fiction.  You can put them together randomly, or if you want to organize them, put them in order by the author’s last name as you would any fiction book
Biography and Autobiography – Mix the two together; Put them on the shelf by the last name of who the book is about. B
Collective Biographies – Books that have biographies with multiple people in them.  Alphabetize by title of book excluding A, An, and The. 920 is a special designation in the library world for collective biographies.  B or 920
Short Stories – Alphabetize them by the author’s last name if they wrote all the stories in the book; if there are different authors, alphabetize by the title excluding A, An, and The ; Put them all together. Usually, you will not have too many of these books. SC
Non Fiction – The Dewey Decimal number is a number that is assigned to each non-fiction book so that books on similar topics are kept together. Look at the Dewey Decimal chart on the link below – Print it out and/or save it on your computer.  You can group your books by 10 categories, ex. 000’s, 100’s, 200’s, etc. However, if you have more in one section, you might want to expand that section and go further into the Dewey Decimal System. For example, if you have a lot of religious books in your collection, you might want to put them in order by what is in 200’s, 210’s, 220’s, etc. All non-fiction books are shelved by the author’s last name; however, if there is no author, it is shelved by the title, excluding A, An, and The.  Dewey Decimal Number
000’s – General Books, Encyclopedias
100’s – Philosophy and Psychology
200’s – Religion; you may want to shelve by more specific designations since you will have more of these.
                200 – General Religion Books
                210 – Philosophy and Theories of Religion
                220 – Bibles
                230 – Christianity Christian Theology
                240 – Christian Moral and Devotional
                250 – Christian Orders and Local Church
                260 – Social and Ecclesiastical Theology
                270 – History and Geography of Church
                280 – Christian Denominations and Sects
                290 -  Other Religions and Comparative Religion
300’s      Social Sciences
400’s      Languages; Dictionaries
500’s      Natural Science; Mathematics
600’s      Technology (Applied Science) – Medical books, etc.
700’s      The Arts; Sports
800’s      Literature
900’s      Geography and History
If you want to subdivide any section, click this link from Cazenovia College and print it out.

Professional Books – You may want to have a section where you keep books about your profession, i.e.  engineering books, business books, etc.  If you have a lot of them, you may want to organize them by the Dewey Decimal number, but put a P somewhere to designate they go in your “professional library.” P
If you don’t know where to put a non-fiction book, just look on the back page of the title page in the front of the book, and the Dewey number is usually there. Sometimes it may show two places to put your book, and that would be up to you, i.e. B (biography of 920) or 700 (Encyclopedia of Athletes)
Then, if you want a section for your children’s books once he/she has outgrown them, you can designate them with a BB for board books; an E for easy books; and even a Dewey number for non –fiction.
There are YouTube videos for organizing a home library; also, if you need library supplies, there is a company called Highsmith where you can buy library pockets books, cards, genre labels, etc. It all depends on how in depth you want your home library to be.
As for purchasing items, there are actual computer programs for home libraries if you want to keep track electronically, but that is a lot of work and costs. In addition, I usually buy address labels to designate ownership of my books. Instead of putting my address on the label, I will put something like this on the front and inside cover. I usually buy my labels at an online store called Colorful Images.
This book belongs to the Greene Family
If borrowed, please return.
Just remember, it is a home library. There is no right or wrong way to how you decide to organize your library. Personalize it if you want to. The goal is just to be able to find your books when you want to find them.
And, if you really want to impress your friends with your Library Science knowledge, just let them know you know the ONLY person who has their very own Dewey Decimal Number.  And, that is WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE at Dewey number 822!
Well, I hope this gives you something to think about.  But, if this article is too much to absorb, just sit back, pour yourself a cup of tea, grab your computer, and type in www.bibshoppe.com for some leisurely browsing.  And, actually, maybe after reading this article, you will be in the mood, like I was, to go from “Books to Bibs!