Picture Book Categories! 

One of my projects to make the Children’s Room more kid and parent friendly is separating picture books into categories for easy browsing. I have heard nothing but positive feedback so far, which is a great feeling. I think it has helped to empower people who like to browse and don’t want to ask for help.

Another thing that I like about these categories is that they incorporate picture books, easy readers, easy non-fiction books, and board books, so everything is in one easy to find section. I’m hoping that this increases circulation of non-fiction, as it sometimes feels like no man’s land over here. We shall see!

Here are the categories we have so far:

Early Concepts

The first category that I created was for books that teach concepts such as shapes, colors, numbers, letters, etc. It’s a pretty large category, but it also gets a lot of action, especially since the shelf faces our storytime area and is right near the Children’s Room desk.

Stories & Rhymes

This section is so much fun! It’s got everything from Mother Goose nursery rhymes to re-tellings of classic fairy tales. And poetry! I have always loved the children’s poetry books that we have, but they have been largely neglected, so including them in this category is my way of tricking people into checking them out…. Muahahahahaaaa!

Growing Up

This section is still a work in progress. I think it has too much going on, and there are SO many books that could fit into the “relationships” and “families” classification that I’m thinking about creating a “Friends & Family” category. I really like this category though, especially when looking for books on big life events such as potty training or learning to share. 

Things that Go

This category is a must-have, if you ask me. We debuted the Things that Go category at this week’s storytime, and there was one young boy who just didn’t know what to do with himself. All of his favorite things are now in one place! He got to see some books that he had already read, and the section introduced him and his grandma to other awesome books such as the Kate McMullan ones which he might not have run into regularly. Again, we put in some of the easier non-fiction books, and I think that the real-life pictures will really appeal to kids who are into this stuff.

Coming Soon

This week, we are adding a Seasons category, which will be shelved right near our Holiday section, since they all correspond to different times of the year (plus that’s where there was some extra shelf space).

All in all, I love the way these categories are shaping up! Like I said, some of them will need some tweaking before they are just right, but that’s true of any collection. These categories have really made it easier for people to find what they are looking for, and have helped to introduce people to things that they didn’t even know they wanted. Some other categories I’ve been thinking about are Dinosaurs, Pretty in Pink (ballerinas, princesses, etc.), and Heroes (superheroes, everyday heroes, etc.) I might start working on the Heroes section so it’s ready before summer reading. I’ll keep you posted!



  1. Coco · April 16, 2015

    I’m so interested to see how this goes for you! We were just having a discussion at our library (medium-sized, I’d say) about whether this is a sustainable form of organizing books. I think it would be a great experiment to try, and it really does seem so much easier for browsing. How is it for finding specific books?


    • khardter · April 16, 2015

      It’s fine for finding them, I think. You just have to create a shelf location and spine labels, and the catalog will tell you that Chicka Chicka Boom Boom is located at Children’s Early Concepts MAR. Easy!

      I will say that it does get a little confusing for some staff members when shelving, because of all the different labels. It’s new though, so they just have to get used to carefully reading the labels to find the correct shelf location for it.

      If you want to try it, I would suggest doing just one category to see how it goes (maybe heroes for summer?) Early Concepts was a good first for me, because those are books that people look for a lot. The hard part is narrowing down the scope of what to include in each category, depending on how big you want them to be. I could have done a Shapes category, a Colors category, etc., but I didn’t want 95,000 tiny categories.

      I hope you try it out!


      • Coco · April 16, 2015

        Okay, good to hear that it really is as easy as it seems. We may start with our parenting collection, which is pretty small to begin with, and see how it goes. It seems like that area lends itself especially well to categorizing picture books (“moving,” “divorce,” “dealing with loss,” etc.). But then again, those are micro-categories!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: New Picture Book Category: Friends  | Stories with Miss Krystina

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s