"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Libraries 101...Books in a series

Libraries 101 is a new feature at My Head is Full of Books where librarians and library-goers can talk about issues near and dear---books and bookish related topics specific to libraries.

Today's topic is books in a series.

Any teen librarian today has to be on his/her toes constantly just to stay one step ahead of the teens' insatiable desire for the next book in a favorite series. I could never keep them straight. Constantly feeling overwhelmed and confused I resorted to creating a few tricks to help me stay sane and to look like I knew what I was doing.

1. First I started purchasing two or three copies of the first book in a series so that more kids could be introduced to the popular series without being thwarted before they had a chance to start.

2. Next I created a little blue notebook into which I write out the list of books in particular series, and if I know them, the dates of upcoming books. This little notebook is now a go-to spot for my ardent library readers. One girl even complimented me on it just this past week. "This is the coolest book. I've never seen one in any other library." Of course, the information is available on the card catalog, but that requires several steps in our school system to login and get to the catalog.  This is faster. Not a day goes by that someone, including my clerk, doesn't consult the little Books in a Series book.
This small three-ring binder sits on the circulation desk so that anyone can use it.

Pages are sorted by author, titles are added as new books are published.
A post-it note announces up-coming titles.

3. Another issue with books in a series is how to communicate to the reader that there is another book in the series.  As you know from my last post, I am not a great fan of stickers, so I always struggle with how to communicate with readers so that they will know to look for the next book. Obviously if the kid drops by the circulation desk we would tell them, but frequently that didn't happen so I decided to start displaying books in a series on a shelf in my library.  Post-it notes help us indicate each books' number in the series. Series are rotated onto and off the shelf monthly. This has been a very popular move. Kids flock to the shelf and find that next book themselves.  Often they tell me that they loved the first book but didn't even know that there were other books after it. Success!

All books in the series are marked with post-it notes.
A variety of types of series are highlighted: fantasy, paranormal, realistic, etc.

If books in a series don't move, they are reshelved and others replace them to keep the display fresh.

4. For very popular series, notices on the library bulletin board announce the arrival of the next book in a series.  House of Night. Inheritance Cycle. The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel. Hunger Games.

What do you find helpful in identifying the next book in the series?  Join in the conversation.



  1. I'm not a librarian, as you know, but I wanted to say something anyway. I think your display idea is awesome!

    1. Thanks for the compliment. I hope other non-librarians feel free to comment, too.

  2. I love the binder idea for books in a series. We've been toying with how to get that information to our students so I think I will steal your idea, thank you!

  3. Interesting and informative post - love your reference binder idea. I do like this new series. (just catching up on my blog reader)


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