Today's topic is stickers on books, such as barcodes, due date stickers, and spine labels.
I became a school librarian seven years ago. I opened a new school and its library. I was not, however, the person that chose the opening day collection or made the decisions about the placement of barcode labels. Nor did I select the type of books predominately selected for this collection, paperbacks with special hard covers to extend their shelf life. While I like these types of books, what I don't like is that the information about the book is on the back because they don't have a jacket flap. The placement of the barcode label can then obscure the book info. Students complain that they have no idea what the book is about which makes selection of this particular title less than likely. See the photo below for three examples of labels that do this.
|Barcode labels, due date labels, and spine labels all obscure the information on the back of the book on these Permabound-type books.|
The problem with extra stickers isn't as profound on hardcover books since the book info is on the book-flap inside the front cover, but they do make the books look more junky and, in some cases, obscure some of the book info. See examples below.
For the past few months whenever I have a few free hours, I've been attempting to remedy my sticker problem by slowly removing the due date stickers on the back and replacing them with due date sheets which are glued inside the book.
|Several students have commented how much better they like this type of due date label. They say it is easier to figure out when the book is due and it looks less messy on the back of the book.|
In addition I am slowly removing the AR labels that are above the spine labels. The gal that selected the opening collection thought that high school students would want to participate in Accelerated Readers activities. They don't. The AR stickers on the spines confuse kids who are searching for a particular book. I am also moving all barcode labels to some place on the back of the book that doesn't obscure any information. This a huge job and it will probably take me a few years to finish.
Words to the wise---If I could do it again, I would avoid as many stickers as possible on my books and the placement of the barcodes would vary according to the information already published on the book.
Librarians and library-goers what are your thoughts about stickers on library books?